Prince Naseem Hamed sets sights on creating Saudi Arabian boxing stars

Prince Naseem made a big name for himself in the ring, and now he wants Arab fighters to do the same. (AFP)
Updated 28 September 2018

Prince Naseem Hamed sets sights on creating Saudi Arabian boxing stars

  • British boxing legend wants to use Groves vs Smith fight as a launching pad to find Arab boxing talent.
  • Prince Naseem says he will try to create a boxing academy in the Kingdom.

JEDDAH: Former world champion “Prince” Naseem Hamed has vowed to capitalize on the “buzz” around Saudi Arabia’s first professional boxing event by setting up an academy in the Kingdom.
The World Boxing Super Series final took place in Jeddah as George Groves and Callum Smith fought for an array of titles — including the tournament’s Muhammad Ali trophy.
Among those in attendance was 44-year-old Prince Naseem, who built a reputation as one of boxing’s most exciting and charismatic fighters during a 10-year career.
The Sheffield-born fighter won belts at featherweight, bantamweight and super-bantamweight level. Thanks to his Yemeni parents he has close ties to the Middle East and is determined to give something back to the region.
“I lit up the Middle East when I lit up the world in the 1990s and gave people here something to be proud of,” Prince Naseem told Arab News. “Now it’s time to take things forward. I’m planning to sit down with the government and create a Prince Naseem Academy, a boxing school of excellence, here. I want to produce champions from Saudi Arabia and throughout the region.
“We have a great opportunity. I’m sure there are talented Arab fighters out there waiting to be discovered. We will have great trainers and great champions.
“I’m not just talking about Saudi Arabia but the whole Middle East. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”The undercard at King Abdullah Sports City included two Saudi fighters in Zuhayr Al-Qahtani and Jeddah’s Abdulfatah Julaidan. 
Prince Naseem believes that the event in Jeddah can be a catalyst for the development of boxing in the Arab world.
“There’s a real buzz around the place, he said.
“Professional boxing has never come to Saudi Arabia before and it’s a blessing that things have opened up in the country like this.
“We’ve been waiting for boxing to break into the Arab countries for a long, long time. Hopefully this will just be the start of things to come.”
That view was echoed by former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Evander Holyfield. The American ace was at Thursday’s weigh-in and expressed his hope that the “Rowdy in Saudi,” as some have already dubbed the headlining Groves-Smith bout, can act as a launching pad for boxing in the Middle East.
“It’s tremendous to have boxing here in Saudi Arabia,” the 55-year-old all-time great told Arab News. “I think it will help the sport grow.
“I am sure there are some very good fighters (across the Middle East) and if they are given a chance they can change the whole game.”


Messi wins third straight Golden Shoe as top league-goal scorer

Updated 16 October 2019

Messi wins third straight Golden Shoe as top league-goal scorer

  • Messi won the trophy for a third straight year

BARCELONA: Barcelona captain Leo Messi received his sixth Golden Shoe as the top scorer in the European leagues on Wednesday.

Messi won the trophy for a third straight year after scoring 36 goals, three more than his closest challenger, Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi’s sons Thiago and Mateo, presented their father with the trophy supervised by his wife, Antonella Rocuzzo and watched by teammates, including Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba.

Messi dedicated the award “to my family, to my colleagues who are here. There are Luis and Jordi, who are two of the men to blame for this award.”

“Without my team, I could not even have won the award once.”

Messi now has two more Golden Shoes than his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo. Luis Suarez is one of nine players on two. The award was created in 1967 when it was won by Eusebio.