Tag Archives: Mohammad Rabii

World amateur champion Mohammad Rabii Wins pro debut & becomes first-time father within hours 


Welterweight prospect Mohammad Rabii ended his pro debut in grand fashion (photo by Martina Houdek)
CASABLANCA, Morocco (March 14, 2017) – Last Saturday night in the Czech Republic, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Mohammad Rabii experienced a rare “double” as he successfully turned pro and a few hours later became a father for the first time.
The 23-year-old Rabii, fighting out of Morocco, turned in a sensational professional debut, stopping Lazlow Kovacs II (11-6) at the 2:35 mark of the opening round at Sportovni Hala Kralovka in Prague.
Rabii entered the ring knowing his wife, Imane Imari, was in labor.  “On the way to the arena,” Rabii explained, “I received a call that my wife was in labor and my son was coming soon.  The fight couldn’t come quick enough for me. I was very excited but I had to concentrate on my first fight as a pro because it was such a big moment for me. The news later that my son had arrived was reason for a double celebration.
“Every time I connected on Kovacs, I could see that it was affecting him.  I knew it was all over because I hit him with a big punch that me and my coach, Donald Leary, had worked on in training camp.  I cannot wait for my next fight in April.”
Rabii’s son (unnamed at this writing) tipped the scale at 10 pounds, 3 ounces.  He and his mother are both in good health.
Rabii was one of the leading pro prospects coming of the Olympic Games in Brazil.  He had dropped a highly-disputed decision (0-3) in the semifinals to Uzbekistan boxer Shakhram Giyasov, the eventual silver medalist. Rabii captured a coveted gold medal at the 2015 AIBA World Amateur Championships, ironically, defeating 2016 Olympic gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov in the welterweight division championship final.
Rabbi had planned to make his pro debut prior to the arrival of his baby, who was due February 18, training in Cork, Ireland for his originally scheduled pro debut February 28 in Casablanca. However, due to reasons beyond the event organizers’ control, that show was unfortunately cancelled.
“I had to reschedule his pro debut for March 11th against the same opponent, Kovacs,” said Rabii’s manager Gary Hyde, president of Nowwhere2Hyde Management.  “Kovacs fights between 154 and 168 pounds, which is much heavier than the 147-pound welterweight division in which Rabii fights.
“Mohammad learned during his warm-up for the fight that his wife was in labor and close to delivering his first child.  He had other things to take care of before concentrating on his family affairs, wasting no time as he annihilated Kovacs until dropping his Hungarian opponent hard near the end of the opening round.  Czech spectators gasped as Rabii’s thunderous punches connected.  Kovacs somehow got to his feet to beat the count but he was visibly shaken and the referee wisely stopped the fight. Rabii had no time to celebrate, though, as he rushed to contact his family back in Morocco, happily learning his wife had given birth to the couple’s baby boy at 7 a.m. Sunday morning.”
Twitter:  @nowhere2hyde

Former Interim Cruiserweight World Champion Youri Kalenga added to “Battle of Casablanca” card

World amateur champion Mohammad Rabii
To make pro debut at home in main event 
Feb. 18 in Casablanca, Morocco
CASABLANCA, Morocco (February 2, 2017) – Former Interim cruiserweight world champion Youri “El Toro” Kalenga will provide chief support February 18 for pro-debuting Moroccan amateur boxing sensation Mohammad Rabii on the “Battle of Casablanca” card, presented by Nowhere2Hyde, at Complexe de Sportif Mohammed V Arena in Casablanca, Morocco.
Kalenga (22-3, 15 KOs), fighting out of France by way of The Congo, is currently rated No. 12 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and No. 16 by the World Boxing Council (WBC).  The knockout artist takes on Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson (17-11-1, 9 KOs), of Philadelphia, who is a former United States Boxing Association (USBA) and North American Boxing Federation (NABF) champion.
In 2014, Kalenga captured the WBA Interim title with a 12-round split decision over 32-1 Mateusz Masternak in Monaco, followed with a successful title defense in Canada against 12-0 Denton Daley by way of a 12th round technical knockout.
Kalenga has never been in a dull fight.  Two of his three career losses have been to current WBA Super cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (26-2), who Kalenga dropped in the fourth round, by way of a 12-round unanimous decision in Russia, and last June he was stopped for the first time in his seven-year pro career by 20-0 Yunier Dorticos in Paris for the Interim WBA strap.
The 23-year-old Rabii defeated 2016 Olympic gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov in the welterweight division championship finale of the 2015 AIBA World Amateur Championships to capture a gold for his native Morocco.  Rabii won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, dropping a highly-disputed decision (0-3) in the semifinals to Uzebek boxer Shakhram Giyasov, the eventual silver medalist.
The ultra-charismatic Rabii has reached “rock star” status in Morocco, testament by an average of 6-million Moroccans viewing each of Rabbi’s Olympic matches on Arryadia Television.  “We are very excited to work with our television partners, Arryadia, on our February 18th show as the first of five shows in 2017 featuring Mohammed Rabii,” promoter Gary Hyde said.  “Rabii has the entire nation of Morocco behind him and he will be challenging for top welterweight honors in no time at all.”
Rabii will take on veteran Hungarian boxer Adam “Bad Boy” Mate (24-10, 17 KOs) in the six-round main event.
Also in action on “Battle of Casablanca” will be former World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) world featherweight champion, Simpiwe Vetyeka (29-3, 17 KOs), who is world ranked No. 4 by the WBA, No. 6 by The Ring magazine, and No. 7 by the WBC.  The gifted South African faces undefeated Hungarian prospect David Nerna (8-0, 8 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
Netherlands light middleweight Gevorg Khatchikian (24-2, 12 KOs) will also be in action against Ugandan Med “Kabona” Sebyala (16-8-1. 13 KOs) in another 10-rounder.  Khatchikian, who will be fighting as a 154-pounder for the first time as a professional, has only lost twice as a pro, both to present super middleweight world champions, James Degale (IBF) and Gilberto Ramirez (WBO).
Hyde manages Rabii, Kalanga and Vetyeka.
Tickets are now on sale for the Feb. 18 show in Casablanca.
Twitter:  @nowhere2hyde,