Emirati boxers in the spotlight at Abu Dhabi fight night

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Emirati boxers were in the spotlight on the undercard of the WBA Light Heavyweight title fight between Dmitry Bivol and Gilberto Ramirez at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

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While the Russian champion Bivol defended his belt against Mexican challenger Ramirez, United Arab Emirates fans were entranced by the three bouts featuring local boxers.

Fahad al-Bloushi claimed a victory over his Georgian opponent Iraki Shariashvili by unanimous decision in the super featherweight class, extending his record to 11 wins from 12 fights.

‘The Emirati Kid’ peppered Shariashvili with quick jabs and body shots in front of a vocal home crowd to win on points.

“I feel on cloud nine,” he told the press after the fight. “I made my mum proud, my dad proud, the whole country proud. Putting that statement out to the whole country means a lot to me because this is my hometown; it gave me everything and I’m just trying to give that same thing back.”

Later in the evening, super flyweight Sultan al-Nuaimi stopped India’s Sohaib Haque in the seventh round.

Al-Nuami delivered a barrage of blows including a body blow that left his opponent backing off, before the referee stopped the fight.

“Just knowing this is the biggest fight night in the UAE’s history and you performed really well… it’s such an honor to show the world there are local-based fighters that can perform to a high level,” he said.

“…We just want to attract more locals into this sport and this is just the beginning.”

Falling short of securing an Emirati hat-trick of victories, three-time national champion Majid al-Naqbi lost by unanimous decision to Filipino lightweight John Lawrence Ordonio.

After his first career defeat, al-Naqbi said: “He was a tough opponent and this my first loss. I don’t have to give excuses. I’m accepting my loss as a man.”

“I’ll take it, but I am going to learn a lot from this, improve, and come back better.”

Also fighting on the night was Britain’s Chantelle Cameron, who beat Jessica McCaskill by unanimous decision to become undisputed super-lightweight champion.

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