RIYADH: The UK’s ambassador to the Kingdom has hailed the “impressive performance” of 22-year-old Ziyad Almaayouf, who made history as the first person from Saudi Arabia to win a professional boxing match.
Ambassador Neil Crompton tweeted: “Popular win for Saudi Arabia’s own @ZAlmaayouf, #Saudi’s first professional boxer, by way of a knock out. An impressive performance from a boxer who did his last 8 weeks’ training in Liverpool UK.”
Almaayouf, popularly known as Zizo, defeated opponent Alfredo Alatorre in the first round with a knockout in his professional debut.
The bout was held at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City Arena and was on the card for “Rage On The Red Sea.”
Almaayouf said he was excited by his historic win; he could not believe how happy he was because he was in a place where he could see boxing champions around him.
“What an honor it is to be here in front of my home people, in front of this crowd,” Almaayouf said in a post-fight interview. “It’s been years and years of hard work that people don’t see behind the scenes, but it all leads to a few minutes. And what better thing to do in a few minutes than that?”
After his win, Almaayouf praised Saudi Arabia’s leadership for making the dreams of its young people come true.
He praised the Kingdom for its support of women in boxing as “Rage On The Red Sea” also featured the country’s first female boxing match.
He said the bout was bigger than boxing itself as it reflected how the country was empowering girls and women.
Crompton also praised Saudi Arabia for hosting its first female boxing match. He tweeted: “Wonderful to be able to watch the first female boxing match take place in #Saudi. Congratulations to @RamlaAli from Somalia via Bethnal Green on the win! Ramla keeps her perfect record, 7-0.”
He previously tweeted: “Here in #Jeddah at #RageOnTheRedSea. Great to see British sporting talent on display. Fantastic to see the first female boxing match ever hosted in #Saudi. Good luck to all the boxers! Big night ahead!”