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Old 02-25-2008, 10:38 PM   #1
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Default Hamdan ready to fulfil his prophecy

Seventeen years ago a violent street kid named Nader Hamdan said he'd be a world champion, writes Jamie Pandaram.

"This fight has hit me like a truck. I'm very edgy and emotional at times. Like today, after I finished at the mosque, the reality of what is happening hit me hard emotionally, then I got a text from that youth worker I had to go to the local park and sit there for an hour to let it sink in. I had a good talk to my wife [Amira], I feel better. Looking forward these next five days, it's going to be an emotional rollercoaster." - Text message from Nader Hamdan on Friday.


It sounded as though cracks were appearing in Nader Hamdan's mental armoury days before the biggest fight of his career, a world title showdown with WBA super-middleweight champion Anthony Mundine (30-3, 23KO).
Was he starting to break? "Not at all," Hamdan said the next day. "It was bound to happen - the feelings I'm going through, I'm totally in control of them. Fear can either burn or, or it can ignite you.


"It's just starting to dawn on me that this is real, all the work I've done in my whole career comes down to this. You start talking to someone about it and your voice cracks. I'm not the type to hide my emotions. But I'm confident, I know all the work I've done, I know how hard I've prepared for this."


What preparation it has been. For a veteran of 45 fights, Hamdan (40-5, 18KO) has never been in better shape nor had this level of training in the build-up to a bout. For one, he has had eight weeks to get in shape, which is five weeks more than the norm in the past four years. After his split with trainer Jeff Fenech in 2003, Hamdan was cast into boxing's wilderness to fend for himself, without a promoter, sponsor or matchmaker.



He began taking fights at late notice, flying to Germany and Canada to challenge highly regarded champions without time to train properly or acclimatise.


Hamdan has also turned down $45,000 in sponsorship money in the past month because of his objection to alcohol and gambling, despite struggling without corporate support. Hamdan, a Muslim who will wake at 5am on fight day for his daily prayer, rejected separate offers by two Sydney nightclub/bars, worth $25,000 and $20,000 each.


"I can't be a hypocrite, I don't agree with alcohol or gambling and that is what the bar and nightclub industries thrive off, so I can't say no to that and then accept their money," Hamdan, 34, said. "Putting religion aside, look at what alcohol and gambling does to society. They are diseases on the community, they destroy lives and ruin people, and I don't want to endorse that at all, regardless of my own financial situation."

In the past eight weeks, Hamdan's body has been tortured to the point of collapse daily. It was a confronting sight to watch him do sprint training at Carss Park three weeks ago. He fought exhaustion to complete 90 minutes of sprinting exercises with barely a break in between - earlier that day he had sparred for 12 rounds. He's had 16 merciless running sessions at the Kurnell sand dunes. "When I take my shirt off at the weigh in [today], they'll be shocked," he warned.


It has all been a means to an end, and tomorrow night's bout at the Sydney Entertainment Centre is increasingly being referred to by Hamdan as his "destiny". The text message he had referred to on Friday night was from a youth worker at the juvenile detention centre Hamdan had been sent to after grabbing a policeman's gun during a brawl in his teens.


That youth worker, Eddie Coombes, had met a violent, 17-year-old Hamdan, who arrived with a fearsome reputation carved on Marrickville's streets. But Hamdan couldn't picture walking the same path in adulthood, and promised Coombes he would use his fists in the right way, to win a boxing world title.


Coombes sent this text to Hamdan: "Nader, you don't have to worry about a thing, you're just fulfilling a prophecy I heard from a very tough young man 15 years ago. [Mundine] will be shown the gates of hell when he steps into the ring with you. I swear I have never seen a more genuine ownership of anyone's destiny in a man's eyes. When you told me [about your dream to win a world title] you were only 16 or 17 and locked up. It wasn't a promise Nader, it was a prophecy."


If there were any doubts about Hamdan's readiness, he chews them up and spits them out, as he did with several sparring opponents over 15 rounds last week. "All the work I've done, all the blood, sweat, and pain, wasn't for nothing. I'm ready."
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hamdan ready to fulfil his prophecy

Mundine prepared to go the distance with 'tough nut'


AFTER a gruelling preparation that has included sparring 12 rounds with five different opponents, Anthony Mundine is predicting a comfortable win over Nader Hamdan tomorrow night at Sydney Entertainment Centre - but not necessarily a knockout.

Fresh from a two-week training camp on the Gold Coast, Mundine believes a dose of flu he developed last Thursday may pose more problems for him in his third defence of the WBA title he won 12 months ago than the fellow Sydney super-middleweight.

But after being stopped just once during a career spanning 45 fights, and in controversial circumstances 30 seconds from the end of his 2004 bout against IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham in Germany, Hamden has proved himself to be a durable boxer and Mundine will enter the ring expecting to be there for the full 12 rounds.

"Nader is a tough nut so I don't want to predict a knockout because it could go the distance," Mundine said last night. "But what I will predict is that he has got no chance of beating me.

"I don't care if he's been training for a year. Even two years, it wouldn't make a difference. I want to go out there and make a statement so he had better be ready for a beating. I've respected him for a long time but when I step into that ring I don't care who my opponent is."

Mundine said his eyesight is also continuing to improve. "I've been training to overcome [the eye problem] so it won't be problem."

The main bout on the undercard will be a heavyweight stoush between unbeaten Solomon Haumono and American Tommy Connelly.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:43 PM   #3
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Mundine takes swing at Cousins' manager

ANTHONY MUNDINE has branded Ben Cousins's manager, Ricky Nixon, as "Mr Twenty Per Cent" after Nixon sensationally claimed the champion boxer was exploiting Cousins to draw attention to his world-title defence.

Team Mundine last night confirmed that Cousins would not fight on the undercard of Mundine's WBA world super-middleweight bout against Nader Hamdan at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on Wednesday night.

But it stressed the West Coast star had made the decision at the start of the week and had nothing to do with reports he would have to undergo drug testing before being allowed to fight under NSW regulations.

Of more concern for Mundine were the catty comments from Nixon, who accused him and his management of using Cousins as a tool to boost ticket sales and that Cousins had never agreed to the fight in the first place.

"The next time Mundine wants to promote his fight, let him hire a PR company," Nixon told wwos.com.au. "If they try to persuade Ben to fight and he goes along with it, I will personally go to Sydney and physically stop him from getting in the ring.

"This is distasteful to all Australians, the sight of Mundine using Ben's tragic circumstances to make money."

Mundine returned fire last night and claimed Nixon was doing nothing but taking a "20 per cent" cut of Cousins's earnings instead of helping him with his drug addiction.

"Mr Twenty Per Cent - who needs a PR company when we have fools like you?" Mundine asked. "You talk about using someone for money - I would've thought that was a contradiction coming from you. You talk a great fight, let's hope you back that up with some manhood."

Nixon has been particularly wary about Cousins's friendship with Mundine and his manager, Khoder Nasser.

When Cousins spoke for the first time about his drug problems at a press conference alongside Mundine, Bulldogs back-rower Sonny Bill Williams and former Olympian Nova Peris to promote the "KO for Drugs" fight night, Nixon reportedly said he would no longer manage him.

Cousins told Mundine at the start of the week he did not intend to fight and insisted the decision was his own. For that reason, Nasser said, no approach had been made to Boxing NSW to sanction the exhibition.

Asked if he was using Cousins to promote the fight, Nasser said: "If making the country aware of 'KO to Drugs' is distasteful, I want to be distasteful every day of my life. Ben has done an exceptional job and no one could have done a better job."

Nixon did not return the Herald's call last night but a receptionist at his Melbourne offices said he was standing by his comments.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hamdan ready to fulfil his prophecy

Cousins manager is a fag no doubt...
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:53 PM   #5
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From Fox Sports


February 25, 2008

ANTHONY Mundine's world title bout against fellow Sydneysider Nader Hamdan has been a long time in the making.

Hamdan, 34, first challenged Mundine in 2000 when "The Man" started boxing after walking away from his rugby league career.

Hamdan, known as "Lionheart", has done the hard yards and deserves his shot at the World Boxing Association super-middleweight title at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Mundine is often criticised for fighting soft opponents, including his most recent bout in which he defeated Argentine Jose Clavero in four rounds in Sydney in December.

Everybody forgets he was coming back from a serious biceps tear sustained against tough Argentine Pablo Zamora Nievas in June.

Then came the well-publicised eye operation and infection that could have derailed his career and left him with less than 100 per cent vision in one eye.

Who in their right mind would have fought a lion or tiger in their next fight?

Hamdan is a different proposition to Clavero.

The fight will be a war and Hamdan will probably be fighting his heart out at the end of the 12th and final round.

He turned professional in 1997 and has had 45 fights for 40 wins, 18 by knockout, and five losses.

Only one loss was by stoppage, and that was in the dying seconds of the 12th round against the heavy-hitting and still undefeated German IBF world champ Arthur Abraham in Germany.

Hamdan said he would enter the ring against Mundine with self-belief, fitness, will, determination and heart.

He said that had been his approach from day one, when he was told he would be lucky to win a state title.

"Here I am 10 years later having won many titles and having been as high as No.1 in the world rankings, going into the fight of my life for the world title against one of the greatest athlete-fighters to come out of this country," Hamdan said.

"I am ready, having had the best preparation of my life, and I plan to keep the pressure on from the first bell.

"I have a good chin. He is a boxer and I am a fighter. If I box him on the outside, it will be too hard, so I will be on top of him all the time."

It shapes as an impressive fight. Hamdan does not give himself enough credit. He has developed into a skilful, tough, cagey technician.

If Mundine is less than 100 per cent, he will have his hands full. But my mail is that he has prepared well and respects his opponent.

Mundine will be tested, but his hand speed, evasive ability and great defence will give him a unanimous points decision in a 12-round war.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:55 PM   #6
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Hamdan ready to shock Choc


February 21, 2008

AFTER a career-high 158 rounds of pre-fight sparring, an excited Nader Hamdan says he's ready to deliver the fight of his life in his world title clash with Anthony Mundine.

Although regarded as the underdog for his forthcoming fight with WBA super middleweight champion Mundine in Sydney, Hamdan is bubbling with belief and confidence.

He has been trading many blows with fellow world-ranked super middleweight Sakio Bika and outstanding lightweight prospects Billy Dib and Lenny Zappavigna amongst others and is thrilled with his readiness.

"I've been a pro for 10 years since the end of 1997 and it's been my best preparation ever, not just by a little bit, but by quite a lot," Hamdan said.

"I feel good. They've actually had to rein me in a bit and actually had to slow me down because I've never been where I am at now in terms of fitness. I'm ready for the fight of my life, the biggest night of my boxing career.

"I'm very, very excited, the nerves haven't actually kicked in yet, but every now and then I get a little bit of nerves, but I'm more excited than anything."

Hamdan has great respect for fellow Sydneysider Mundine's ability but he's convinced his own time has arrived.

"He (Mundine) is one of the best athletes and one of the best fighters to come out of this country, love him or hate him. I am a realist, I know it's going to be the toughest fight of my career and I know I'm up against it.

"But all the work I've done in preparation gives me belief. I've always had that belief in myself.

"Maybe it's my destiny, it was never given to me when I was supposed to have it, finally I've been given an olive branch and I now it is my time now."

Hamdan helped Mundine prepare for a couple of his previous fights by sparring with `The Man' and would probably find it almost impossible not to have any contact with members of team Mundine leading into next week's fight.

"We all live around the same area in the St George area and I bump into the (team Mundine) boys quite regularly," Hamdan said.

"Anthony and I were at a charity event recently. I missed him by 10 minutes. I was in there for the first hour and he came a few minutes after I left.

"We are around the same circle of friends and people and we both train at Carss Park swimming pool with Dick Caine.

"He (Mundine) is there in the mornings sometimes and I'm there in the afternoons. We've been missing each other very well."
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hamdan ready to fulfil his prophecy

Ipswich is the man with the Mundine vs Hamdan articles.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hamdan ready to fulfil his prophecy

Ha ha. I've been doing a bit of reading. I'm actually looking forward to this believe it or not. Choc should win comfortably, but Hamden will at least have a go, which isn't something all his opponents do. Plus, I'll get to see it as I'm not working...
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hamdan ready to fulfil his prophecy

Better then the argie bums he has been facing, thats for certain. Still not a great defence, but good to see him giving an Aussie fighter a shot.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: Hamdan ready to fulfil his prophecy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSTR
Better then the argie bums he has been facing, thats for certain. Still not a great defence, but good to see him giving an Aussie fighter a shot.
Yeah thats the thing, if he takes an easy defence at least it be an Aussie.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:03 AM   #11
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Default Re: Hamdan ready to fulfil his prophecy

Mundine will bash Hamdan all over the ring.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:28 AM   #12
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Reading all of that press one would think this fight will be closer than first expected.......on second thoughts no Mundine by wide UD or KO.
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