Aiman Abu Bakar left Malaysia four years ago to train as a boxer in the Philippines.
Since then, the 26-year-old has carved out a name by winning seven professional bouts and wanted his eighth – at Axiata Arena today to be special.
And so it proved to be as he outboxed Indonesia’s Abdi in a featherweight bout to win a split decision on the undercard of the Lucas Matthysse-Manny Pacquiao World Boxing Association welterweight title fight.
Sadly, what little hype there was for the Matthysse- Pacquiao fight did not spill over to Aiman’s bout.
“My fight came on after the main event so many people left but it was still a special occasion for me,” said Aiman, who did not get the chance to meet new Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who had joined Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu as well as Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte for the main event.
“This is the first step towards my dream of fighting for a world title in Las Vegas.
“I’ve now won all eight of my fights and I will continue to train harder to make that dream a reality.”
Aiman said he was pumped up to win his match as this was the biggest stage he had fought on.
“I was motivated by fighting on the undercard of a world title fight. The moment I won I turned to my brother and said all our hard work and sacrifice were worth it.
“I’m sad I didn’t get to meet the ministers as I was in my dressing room waiting for the fight to start.
“Maybe that will happen one day.”