Emirati boxer Sultan Al Nuaimi is looking to go all the way after making history at the 19th Asian Games in China on Monday.

Fighting in the preliminary round (round of 32) of the men’s 51kg division, an Olympic category event with a Paris 2024 Games berth on offer to the eventual winner, Al Nuaimi delivered a masterclass to score a second round KO over Vanesy Heuangthisouan of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on Monday.

It was the first-ever win for an UAE boxer at the Asian Games.

The talented boxer's landmark win came just 24 hours after after UAE judokas Bishrelt Khorloodoi and Narmandakh Bayanmunkh won the country’s first medals at the ongoing Asian Games.

Khorloodoi won the silver medal in the women’s 52kg category and Bayanmunkh clinched the bronze medal in the men’s 66kg event at the Asian Games on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Al Nuaimi had to undergo a medical test at Hangzhou as doctors assessed a gash on his forehead that he had suffered from a head butt in his most recent fight against Tanzania’s Jemsi Kibazange at Ahmed Seddiqi’s Rising Stars of Arabia in Abu Dhabi on September 9.

“I was happy with the way the wound healed and I was cleared for Monday’s fight,” Al Nuaimi told Khaleej Times from China.

“With that out of the way, I could focus on what I was here to do and that is win and make the UAE proud.

“There is a lot of pressure when you’re representing your country as there are a lot of expectations. But I did not let that bother me. All that mattered was my opponent in the ring.

“He looked tough and skilful but I was able to assert my supremacy quickly and get the finish halfway through the second round (1:44secs),” the unbeaten boxer from Ajman said.

“It was very special to get my hand raised in the ring as I knew I was making history for the UAE. But this is only the first step, I meet a fighter from Pakistan in my next bout on Thursday (September 28).

“I feel good. I’m going to get some rest and start preparing tomorrow as I continue my journey in the Asian Games,” said Al Nuaimi, who is mentored and managed by Ahmed Seddiqi at Dubai’s Round 10 Gym in Al Quoz.

“I owe this victory to Ahmed who has supported me all through my career and of course to the people of the UAE, my brothers and sisters.”

A former policeman who quit his career to become a professional boxer, Al Nuaimi is unbeaten in 10 career fights since he made a winning debut in November 2019 when he defeated Indonesia’s Charles Latuperissa at Rotunda Rumble in Dubai.

Three other UAE fighters — Nawwaf Al Zahmi (57kg), Husain Al Kandari (71kg) and Mohamed Al Hefeiti (92kg) —are also hoping to make a name for themselves in China.

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