First female Saudi boxer ‘confident’ she will win professional debut

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Saudi Arabia’s first female professional boxer says she is confident she will win her professional debut on the Jake Paul versus Tommy Fury card in Riyadh on Sunday.

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“I’m confident I will win,” said Ragad al-Naimi in a statement. “I’m fully invested in my training, I’ve always wanted to perform at the highest level, and I’m determined to prove I can compete on international cards.”

The 28-year-old is facing off against Perpetual Okaidah under the bright lights in Diriyah.

“Being the first Saudi female to compete in an international boxing event gives me a lot of pride,” she explained.

“I never thought that I would one day be able to perform on such a big international stage in my home country.”

“Saudi Arabia is a young, vibrant country that supports and cherishes its youth, and I can’t wait to be a part of this by competing on the upcoming card on February 26.”

Al-Naimi was introduced to boxing while studying overseas in the US, and she kept pursuing her passion upon returning to the Kingdom.

“For me, boxing came by natural instinct,” she explained. “Usually fighters start training at a very early age, whereas I began in my early 20s.”

“The moment I started boxing, I knew I was good at this sport and my love for it has never waned.”

Saudi Arabia has hosted a number of high-profile boxing events in recent years, including the ‘Clash on the Dunes’ in 2019 between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.

Since then, the Saudi Arabian Boxing Federation has recorded a 300 percent increase in the number of new registered boxers.

There are now 59 official boxing gyms across the country, up from only seven in 2019.

Commenting on the main event, al-Naimi said: “It will be a very close fight. Fury is a professional boxer and Paul has been outstanding so far. I’m excited to see who will grab the win. For me, I’m leaning more towards Paul, but we shall see.”

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