Boxer Fuad will be pleased as punch to train under new coach Saidov

New challenge: Mohd Fuad Mohd Redzuan (right) will be competing in the 51kg category in the Vietnam SEA Games next year.

PETALING JAYA: National boxer Mohd Fuad Mohd Redzuan can’t wait to link up with new coach Rustam Saidov, who will join the national set-up in January.

The Negri Sembilan-born Fuad has only the Vietnam SEA Games, scheduled from Nov 21-Dec 2 next year, as his main competition.

Although he has a year to get ready for the biennial games, Fuad will be competing in the 51kg category instead of the usual 49kg, where he has always competed.

Saidov, who won gold medals at the 2002 and 2006 Asian Games, is also a former Asian Championship winner in 1999,2002 and 2007 and an Olympics bronze medallist in 2000.

“I can’t wait to train under Saidov and learn new things... Uzbekistan has developed many strong boxers especially in the lighter weight categories, and they have won many gold medals at the Olympics, ” said Fuad.

“We will have less than a year to prepare for the Vietnam Sea Games when he starts training us in January, so we’ll have to adapt to the new training programme quickly. The coach will also have to adapt to his new environment.

“I hope the Covid-19 pandemic ends soon so that we can start having our sparring training abroad... we really need to recapture our old form before next year’s SEA Games.”

Fuad, who serves the Royal Malaysian Navy, said he had only trained for two months with the national team as he had to report for duty with the Navy at their base in Lumut.

The 29-year-old added that despite being away from his boxing training in Lumut, he still trains for an hour every day to keep himself fit and to maintain his weight.

“I could not train with other athletes because I had to attend a Navy course in Lumut from January to July. I could only train for two months before I had to serve with the Navy, ” said Fuad.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to train with a sparring partner to gauge my performance in my new category. On top of that, there are no competitions this year due to the pandemic.”

“I have to admit that I’m in the dark when it comes to my level at the moment.”

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