Heavyweight boxer Faith Ulusoy only knows one direction: forward

Coming out of Turkey, Faith Ulusoy, a Mixed Martial Arts fighter and specialist kick boxer, has a perfect boxing record: One fight, one win, writes Ali Khaled.

DUBAI // Mathematics can be cold and brutal, leaving no place for sentiment. A bit like being on the end of a punch from the boxer nicknamed “The Ottoman”.

Applied to boxing, the transitive law would suggest that Fatih Ulusoy should be confident going into Thursday night's May Day Mayhem fight against Abdulmanem Kabbani.

Ulusoy, a Mixed Martial Arts fighter and specialist kick boxer, has a perfect boxing record. One fight, one win.

That win came against Mohammed Ali Bayat, a fighter who has dispatched Kabbani twice.

Ulusoy’s camp, then, will be expecting a logical conclusion at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai tonight.

Kabbani will know what to expect and will be prepared for an onslaught from Ulusoy similar to the one that bamboozled Bayat in March.

It was peculiar sight. Ulusoy looked every bit the MMA fighter he is, even inside the ring, as if no one had told him how things are done in boxing.

Even his choice of understated dark shorts and footwear were in stark contrast to Bayat’s Muhammad Ali-like attire.

Ulusoy, though, looked like he meant business and that was confirmed within seconds.

Fighting southpaw, Ulusoy tore into Bayat from the first bell, not allowing him any time to settle into the fight.

The result was a brutal, first-round victory. The Turkish boxer – so often used to spending time on the ground as an MMA fighter – sent Bayat to the canvas with a stunning left hook inside 25 seconds. He beat the count, but from that moment, the outcome was never in doubt.

It looked simply a matter of time.

There was another knock-down and another count that a disoriented Bayat beat, only just.

Then Ulusoy unleashed a barrage of punches on his retreating opponent and the referee had no choice but to stop the fight.

For UAE boxing fans, such a comprehensive defeat for a local favourite was a shock. As, perhaps, was Kabbani’s decision to take on Ulusoy in a clash many believe he is not ready for.

Kabbani is experienced and packs a heavy punch, but Ulusoy will again look to use his immense speed to put him on the defensive as quickly as he did Bayat.

The sample size could not be smaller, but the evidence so far indicates Ulusoy only boxes one way: going forward.

He will also be looking to take advantage of Kabbani’s relative lack of ring time over the past few years, the two losses to Bayat excepted.

Ulusoy versus Kabbani is one of the more intriguing bouts on tonight’s card.

In one corner, the Syrian boxer looking for redemption, in the other, the Turkish fighter looking to maintain that fresh, but perfect, 100 per cent record.


Follow our sports coverage on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE