Nine-time Mr.Universe Sazali Samad will be going for his tenth title this year but in the welterweight weight class of 75kg instead of the 70kg lightweight division he competed in previously. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Bodybuilder Sazali Samad will be aiming for an unprecedented 10th world title in a different weight class this year.
The 46-year-old, who has nine world titles under his belt, has decided to move up to the welterweight (75kg) category this year.
Sazali claimed his first Mr Universe crown in the 65kg category (bantamweight) in Malacca in 2000, followed by triumphs in Moscow (2004) and Ostrava, Czech Republic (2006).
The police sub-inspector then moved up to the lightweight (70kg) category and succeeded on his maiden attempt in Jeju, South Korea (2007) before similar triumphs in Dubai (2009), Varanasi, India (2010), Malacca (2011), Bangkok (2012) and Budapest last year.
Sazali, who also won the Asian title eight times, now weighs in at 76kg and intends to gain another few kilograms but not exceed 80kg before starting his cut-off programme to tone his muscles.
The world meet this year will be held in India in November.
“I’m in the midst of the sizing process now. I am trying to increase my weight by eating the delicious foods I craved for almost 10 days already.
“I have nothing more to prove in the lightweight class, having won numerous world and Asian titles. I want a new challenge and moving to a higher weight class is the right thing to do.
“I asked my coach Milos Sarcev for his opinion. He was reluctant at first but gave his blessing after that.
“I am determined to win my 10th Mr Universe and ninth Mr Asia titles in the new weight class.
“I want to prove to the world that I can stamp my mark in whatever category I compete in,” said Sazali, who only bagged silver at the Myanmar SEA Games last month.
Sazali added that another reason to move away from his current weight class is the difficulty in reducing his weight prior to competition.
“At the last world meet in Budapest, it was very hard for me to reduce my weight. I weighed around 73kg and needed to reduce to about 69.8kg to be eligible for the weight class.
“I had to sit in the sauna room to achieve that. It’s no easy task,” he recalled.