MOHD Hazizul Hakim is a Form Five student of Sekolah Menengah Agama Al-Quran Waddin in Johor Baru – and the religious school does not have any sports activities.
But that did not stop Hazizul from taking up boxing four years ago.
And yesterday, he marked his Sukma debut by winning the gold medal in the men’s below 52kg category at the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bukit Rangin.
The 17-year-old Hazizul is a huge fan of boxing legend Muhammad Ali and loves to watch boxing matches shown on Astro’s sports channel.
“I joined the Johor Baru Amateur Boxing Club in Larkin when I was 13 with the help of my friends who were already members there,” said Hazizul, who has four older sisters.
“I will go to the club after school to train in the afternoons. Some of teachers in my school were unhappy with me for taking up boxing. They felt that it was a brutal sport and does not benefit me as a religious student.
“Although the teachers were against it, I continued to train and I was happy when I represented Johor for the first time in a local tournament last year.
“I also did well in the Datuk Bandar tournament in Kuala Lumpur in March by winning the bronze in the Open category.
“It was based on that performance that I I was chosen to represent Johor for Sukma.
“I am surprised to win the gold as this is only my first Sukma.”
Hazizul, who received a bye in the first round, defeated Kelantan’s Mohd Azman Mohd Azhar 15-11 in the quarter-finals.
He was also too good for Perak’s Abdul Hamid Muis in the semi-finals, winning 23-6.
Hazizul faced a strong challenge from Penang’s A. Jagadish in the final and held a slim 14-13 lead in the second round.
He managed to step it up in the third round to win 20-15 for the gold.
Hazizul also thanked all his coaches for “helping me become a Sukma champion”.
“I will continue to train harder to be national boxer,” said Hazizul, who will be sitting for his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination in November.
We're sorry, this article is unavailable at the moment. If you wish to read this article, kindly contact our Customer Service team at 1-300-88-7827. Thank you for your patience - we're bringing you a new and improved experience soon!