These countries were represented by Aliev Fahridin (Russia), Daniel Mashamaite (South Africa) and Botirov Shuhrat (Uzbekistan). The trio with their entourage had been in Rantau Panjang a few days before the event and had been distributing the championship fliers to prove that they are already here to fight.
Local organizers had been plagued by a no show when foreign fighters were promised to be made available to fight in their event. It is a really good move to ensure confidence among the paying patrons who often demand their money back when the international fighters didn't turn up.
Here is the story of the first night of the championship in pictures.
The President of Persatuan Boksing Kelantan with his men. From left to right: Azmin (Azmin Motor Tanah Merah) Faizal (B 13 Rantau Panjang) Ramli Awang @ Pak Yusof (President of Persatuan Kelantan Boksing), Pak Da Hussin (B 13) and an unknown member of B 13.
A smiling Kamal of Kelab Sri Kajang. This fighter is being trained to be my cameraman to shoot the second day event because of my inability to attend. The first night was entirely shot by Kamal and I have yet to see the result. The lady in pink is Kak Yah, Emi Sampuri's mother.
Saiful being given the oil bath not far from Akbar.
Ilham knocked out Naim with a knee blow to his stomach in the 3rd round. The referee confirmed it was not a blow to the crotch and awarded the fight to Ilham.
My favourite fighter Ajan Putra of MZ Repek whom I featured in my article in the first issue of Boxxtomoi Muay Thai magazine was supposed to fight next. The organizer had rescheduled his fight Adik Awang Ikan of Kemahang 2 for the second night. In his place Jebat Pok Wie of B 13 was matched with Wok Yah Tom Yam of Tanah Merah. Wok Yah managed to KO Jebat in the second round.
Tok Ayah is the father of Uda or Kamaruddin of M 150. He waved at me when he saw me aiming the camera in his direction.
Botirov Shuhrat of Uzbekistan striking a pose when he was paraded in the ring to announce his fight with Taufik Adura of B 13 on the final night on 19th April.
Akhbar Hanafi was given a new name that night as Hankebar. He was matched with Saiful. Saiful almost stumbled when his foot was caught by the top rope when he jumped into the ring. Though Akhbar dominated the match, he was unable to knockout Saiful. Saiful managed to inflict a cut on Akhbar's face with an elbow blow and caused a swelling under his left eye.
The referee stopped the match to have it checked by the medical team and he was allowed to fight on. It was a great fight between two belt holders. Akhbar didn't look as lethargic as he did during his fight with Dato 'Epol' in Kota Bharu.
Abang Deen Pulut Ayam helped out in the Boxxwarriors corner for both Akhbar and Bedu. Bedu once trained under Abang Pa who is Abang Deen's elder brother.
I caught Aliev and Bedu warming up before their fights.
Orondo of Kelab Sri Tandak Bukit bunga. He waited for Bedu to enter the ring.
The referee from Thailand checked on Orondo to see whether he is seriously injured or not.
Orondo had to be carried out of the ring.
Aliev did the full wai kru while Rosik Lokcing just waited. Reading his mind I thought Rosik wanted to do a short job of Aliev. Little did he expect Aliev to give him such a fight.
Aliev grimacing while waiting for Rosik's fist to land on his face.
Rosik did manage to down Alive but Aliev managed to bounce back. Below Aliev managed to down Rosik too. Sometimes during the fight, Aliev managed to land a solid punch to Rosik's jaw that sent Rosik sprawling backward on the canvas. That punch could have knocked out a lesser fighter but not Rosik who is well known to be a very hardy one.
Everyone went home happy to have witnessed a great event. The small arena will be jammed pack tomorrow as more people know about the great matches slated for tomorrow night.
If you want to see the fights in full, just wait for the videos to be released. There were at least 3 camcorders in action that night. One of them belongs to Pak Zawi.
Pak Zawi reporting from Pasir Mas for
Boxxtomoi Muay That Magazine.