Heart of a champion

Theena Thayalan

He may not be a household name but watch out for boxer Theena Thayalan.

The 20-year-old from Kajang showed the heart of a champion as he battled to a draw against experienced Indian fighter Siddharth Ravindra Varma despite dislocating his right shoulder in the first of the four-round bout.

“I popped my shoulder when I threw a left hook midway through the first round,” said Theena, who idolises six-time world champion Roy Jones Jr.

“I was confident of winning the fight but once I hurt my shoulder, I shifted tactics and told myself not to lose.”

Once his trainer popped his shoulder back in place, the southpaw, changed his fighting stance to lead with his left to keep his Indian opponent at bay.

Siddharth tried to land his punches but Theena’s defence was too good and he had to settle for a draw which took his record to four wins, a draw and one loss.

The result extended Theena’s unbeaten record to five wins and one draw with two knockouts.

“This was the biggest match of my career and I really wanted to win but the injury ruined my chances.

“Nonetheless, I’m happy with the result as it was not easy fighting with the injury,” said the 2016 Malaysia Games gold medallist.

“I hope to get a rematch as I feel I can beat him. My ultimate aim is to win a championship belt.”

The bout was on the undercard of the Lucas Matthysse-Manny Pacquiao World Boxing Association welterweight title fight.