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Local boxer Nurshahidah gets top award from WBC Asia

The Straits Times by MUHAMMAD SAZALI ABDUL AZIZ

Local professional boxer Nurshahidah Roslie added another feather to her cap when she was named WBC Asia's Female Champion of the Year in Bangkok on Monday.

WBC Asia - formally known as the Asian Boxing Council - is an affiliate of the World Boxing Council (WBC), one of the world's four major boxing sanctioning bodies alongside the World Boxing Organisation (WBO), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Association (WBA).

Nurshahidah, nicknamed "The Sniper", has a professional record of eight wins and one defeat.

She knocked out Thai Siriphon Chanbuala to win the WBC Asia featherweight (up to 57kg) title last September. The Singaporean was one of two women to win a WBC Asia title last year. The other was South Korean Hee Jung Yuh, who defeated Thai Wassana Kamdee for the super flyweight title.

Nurshahidah said the award is the perfect boost for her as she prepares for the 10-round WBO Asia Pacific super bantamweight (up to 55kg) title bout against Australian April Adams in Brisbane, Australia in July.

"This WBC Asia award really pushes me to want to do more, and do better," she said.

"Being given this kind of recognition from such a prestigious organisation is a great stepping stone for me to go even further, especially with my next fight coming soon."

The world No. 21 is the highest-ranked Asian female featherweight boxer and a win over Adams, who is also 30 and has nine wins and one loss, would improve her ranking.

She said: "I'm focused only on the fight in front of me. For me, rankings are secondary. Arvind (Lalwani, her coach and manager) is the one looking at them, and I trust him to set goals for me. I just want to get better, stronger, faster, and impress everyone at every fight."

Lalwani, who runs local gym Juggernaut Fight Club, was one of two Singapore-based boxing promoters who received awards at the WBC Asia ceremony.

He and Willip Ho, who runs the Fight Pro-Motion gym, were named honorary Promoters of the Year. They have both staged WBC Asia-sanctioned boxing events in Singapore in recent years.

Said Lalwani: "I wanted to show Singapore has got good standards, that we have some very good local boxers. And WBC Asia knows that now."

Added Ho: "Achievements like these are a huge encouragement for us, and it means there is hope for all our boxers that they can progress further in the sport after they are done with amateur boxing."