With his latest victory at the Rise of Heroes Championship held in the Philippines, Aiman Abu Bakar, 25, a Malaysian born boxer aims to be a world championship boxer within the next five years.
Aiman, who won the featherweight category against Roy Legrada of the Philippines via first a round knockout on April 24, hope the latest victory would open many opportunities for him to be a world champion sooner than expected.
“Soon our country will witness a Malaysian fighting in world class arenas such as in Las Vegas. I believe that it is possible and I will do my very best to carry my family name and fight for pride and honour of our country.
The former footballer from Negeri Sembilan stands at 5-0-2 in his boxing career record currently.
“I would not only develop more into a good boxer but I will be in a strong position to be fighting in Las Vegas against the very best boxers from around the world as well as a possibility of fighting for a championship belt,” he told Bernama, recently.
Having watched ‘Rocky Balboa’, the classic boxing drama film, during his growing up years, Aiman said that the film had introduced him to the sport world of boxing.
“I’ve always loved the idea that with pure determination and the willingness to persevere when all is not going your way and if your able to overcome it, you are able to achieve anything you set out to do. That has always been my mantra as a kid,” he said.
His love towards boxing deepened when Aiman found out that his mother was a huge fan of the late Muhammad Ali, an American boxer.
“This got me looking more into the sport and discovered great inspiring boxing champions such as Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez and Arturo Gatti. These guys showed me that boxing is more than just a sport, it’s a sport about pride and honour.
“The only sport I believe that has ability to produce cultural icons which made me wanting to be a professional boxer, bringing pride and hope to my family and to the country,” he said.
Asked on the reason he chosen the Philippines, Aiman, who is currently pursuing a degree in Public Relations at the International Advertising, Communication and Technology (IACT) College, said that that country has a rich tradition not only in boxing but in producing world calibre champions.
“They use boxing as a way to escape from poverty and the Philippines is like the hornets nest when it comes to producing boxers, true grit, determination and fighters spirit because boxers are actually a product of their own experiences,” he explained.
Coming from a beautiful country like Malaysia, Aiman said there were no such hardships as compared to those faced by many Filipinos in which a boxer should experience struggles and sacrifices in reality.
“That is why I knew if I want to be successful in the sport of boxing, I must first learn and experience the struggles, hardships and the sacrifice of a man because these things are the building blocks of a champion,” he said.
He also believed leaving his comfort zone to pursue his career would help to prepare him both mentally and physically during his toughest situation at any fight in the long run.
Sharing the challenges faced while building up his career, Aiman said many had given him negative thoughts and perception about how dangerous boxing is as a sport, yet that had not dampen him to start his training at JMC Boxing Gym in the Philippines.
“However, whenever I’m back in KL, I will be training at Cross Muay Thai at Petaling Jaya,” he said, adding that there was no professional boxing school in Malaysia at the moment.
Aiman, who is also the younger brother of Ariff AB, an independent artiste in United Kingdom (UK) also hoped to receive support and assistance from the government in order to develop and grow as an an international boxer while capturing world championships titles.
“So far, the government has assisted me on an endorsement letter from the Sports Ministry to the Philippines. I want the Malaysian government to support me in any possible way they can,” he added. –BERNAMA