Boxing: Ridhwan's a knockout

Boxing: Ridhwan's a knockout
ON TRACK: Ridhwan Ahmad is Singapore’s golden hope at June’s SEA Games

National star Ridhwan Ahmad didn't just win gold at the Hong Kong City Cup International Boxing Tournament last weekend, he did it in style.

Midway through the second round of his final bout with China fighter Li Xiu Dan at the Pei Ho Street Sports Centre in Kowloon, the 27-year-old spotted an opportunity to strike and went for the jugular, sending a thunderous blow to the temple which had Li out for the count.

You could almost hear the pride in Singapore Amateur Boxing Association (SABA) president Syed Abdul Kadir's voice when he described the moment.

"Wan hit him with a sweet right hook," said the 1974 Sportsman of the Year. "He's been working on that."

Kadir won gold in 1971 at what was then the South-east Asian Peninsula Games and a bronze at the 1974 Commonwealth Games.

Singapore's last triumph at a South-east Asia (SEA) Games was in Bangkok in 1985, when Mohammed Mukhlis won the welterweight title (64kg to 69kg).

Ridhwan is the big hope to end that drought at the Singapore Expo hall when the SEA Games are held here from June 5 to 16.

The lightweight boxer (51kg to 56kg) is determined to make up for the disappointment of missing out on two successive finals - he has two bronze medals after losing in the semi-finals at the 2011 and 2013 Games.

Ridhwan's gold was the highlight of a successful outing in Hong Kong by Singapore's boxers, who also returned home with five silver and three bronze medals.

Leong Jun Hao and Zakaria Ismail won silvers, as did women boxers Ang Fen Ni, Leona Hui and Efasha Kamarudin.

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