Bader Samreen aims to continue 'remarkable progress' in Rising Stars Arabia

Unbeaten Dubai-based Jordanian takes on Orlando Mosquera in the 10-round main lightweight contest in Abu Dhabi

Dubai-based Jordanian boxer Bader Samreen is hoping to continue his unbeaten run in Abu Dhabi this weekend. Victor Besa / The National
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Bader Samreen Al Dherat, popularly known as Bader Samreen, has come a long way in a short time during his nascent boxing career. The Dubai-based Jordanian lightweight has risen to 77th in the world rankings – according to BoxRec – since turning pro just over three years ago.

His next goal is to break into the top 50, and then reach the top 10 before the opportunity to compete for a world title. While that might seem a lofty ambition, Samreen has his feet firmly on the ground as he prepares for a crucial juncture in his boxing journey.

Samreen, who turns 24 next month, meets Panamanian Orlando Mosquera, 26, in the headline contest of the fourth edition of the Rising Stars Arabia. The 10-round lightweight bout takes place at the Space 42 Arena in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

“When I first ventured into professional boxing, I was outside top 200 in the rankings but after 10 professional appearances and still undefeated, I have now reached 77. I think that’s remarkable progress,” Samreen told The National.

“Rising Stars Arabia is a platform for Arab fighters to showcase their skill and power. We Arab fighters never had the chance to prove ourselves.”

Samreen took up boxing in 2012, following in the footsteps of his older brother Hesham. He represented his country at the 2018 AIBA World Youth Championships in Hungary and only lost at the semi-final stage to the eventual gold medallist from Cuba.

Having won bronze in the World Youths, Samreen struggled to make the switch to the pro ranks. He finally got the opportunity when Dubai businessman and promoter Ahmed Seddiqi signed him up in 2021.

“I have a Jordanian passport, I didn't have the chance to travel to western countries and pursue a professional career.

“So, that's why it was very hard for me and I gave myself another year. If I didn't have a chance to turn professional then I would have dropped the sport and started working on something else.

“In Jordan, boxing is not really a sport over there, so surviving over there is very hard. I could have wasted so many years and then ended up doing nothing in life.

“Fortunately for me, I got this break to pursue my dream as a professional boxer out of Dubai. I’m very grateful to my manager and promoter Ahmed Seddiqi.”

It indeed has been a tough journey for Samreen, who says the mental aspect of the sport is perhaps even more demanding than the physical.

“Honestly, I can't really describe how hard it has been because most people won’t understand what we go through and how it feels like to be not just a professional boxer but to be a dedicated boxer. I dedicated my entire life to this and it's very tough,” he said.

“It's more mentally demanding than physically because it takes so much time of your life. However, I lead a simple lifestyle and am quite satisfied to continue with what I have chosen to do as a profession.”

Samreen is also a devout Muslim, his faith having withstood the tests of time and hardships. “I'm a strong believer and Allah is with me. Also, my family, they really inspire me and I need to do this for them. I owe this to them,” he said.

“I do make smart choices with my money that I make from the sport of boxing and that's why I don't really find a need to do something else.”

For now, his focus is on his next challenge. Samreen's opponent Mosquera turned professional in 2016. He suffered his first defeat against Jose Nunez in his fifth fight. A few fights later, he fought John Valencia to a sixth-round technical draw when they battled for the Panamanian national title.

That result was followed by seven wins, two of those against previously unbeaten opponents before Mosquera was stopped by Juan Carrasco. His record stands at 12-2-1.

“Obviously you study your opponents by watching their fights on video but I hope he knows who I am. And, yes, I would like to think the contest will end just like any other for me, which is coming out victorious,” Samreen, who has eight knockouts in his 10 fights, said.

“I'm very confident in my abilities and I'm well prepared. I'm always ready.”

Samreen hasn’t set a time limit on reaching his ultimate goal but, with time on his side, hopes to fulfil his dream of becoming a world champion.

“Me and my team, we study it well,” he explained. “We don't rush our work. We have all the time in the world to do it the right way and enjoy the journey.”

In the other contests this weekend, Emirati Sultan Al Nuaimi (11-0) meets Muhsin Kizota (20-4) in a super flyweight contest, Faizan Anwar (17-0) of India faces Nurali Erdogan (15-2) of France at welterweight, and Moroccan Moussa Gholam is up against Chinese Lingjie Xia in a super featherweight bout.

Updated: May 24, 2024, 4:23 AM