picture: fuad esack
His win follows an equally impressive performance at the Cape district championships, in Philippi, two weeks ago, taking him another step closer to becoming the country’s number one ranked fighter in his division.
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. He may not be 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.
“I’ve been boxing for four years and I’ve learnt so much, inside and outside the ring. 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.”