Young boxer has eye on the prize

Bergvliet High School pupil, Ishmaeel Kadri and his trainer, Oscar Noëls, at the Cape Town Metro Open Boxing Organisations district junior and youth championships, in Philippi, at the weekend.

Picture: FUad Esack

His laid-back manner and friendly disposition before stepping in to the ring should not be mistaken for over-confidence.

Instead, Kadri, 18, puts it down to hours of training and total commitment to the sport.

Victory in both his two allocated under-56kg bantamweight bouts, saw him secure his spot at next month’s Western Cape championships, in Langa, the next step on the road to the national championships, in Limpopo, later this year.

He may not the biggest on the block, but he’s got a fighting spirit twice the size of some of the opponents he has faced in 19 bouts over the past three years. It’s hard to believe he slipped on his first pair of gloves just four years ago and is already the number 2 ranked fighter in his division after winning a silver medal at last year’s SA Games in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Training is the main aspect to achieve success in the ring,” said Kadri, the youngest of three brothers.

“I’ve been boxing for four years and I’ve learnt so much, inside and outside the ring.

“I look to take boxing to a whole new level and put South Africa on the map. As a whole, South Africa is very underrated when it comes to boxing. I’m here to change that,” said the confident youngster, who hopes to emulate his boxing role models, multiple champion, Oscar de la Hoya, from America, and
Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin.

He said he was introduced to the sport when his father’s friend, who runs a boxing academy in Ottery, suggested that he start training there.

“My father was a bit reluctant at first, but I knew right from the start that this is what I wanted to do,” he said.

As far as his immediate goals are concerned, he said: “Hopefully next year, I’ll get my pro licence. From there we’ll take it nationally and then internationally.”