Nader Hamdan: Better Late Than Never

By Srithar Visuasam: Tonight (early Sunday morning Australian time) in Messehalle, Germany, Australian Nader Hamdan (43-9-1, 18 KOs) takes on German Robert Stieglitz (41-2, 23 KOs) for his WBO super middleweight title.

The challenge came about by surprise, with WBO #15 Hamdan called up only a week ago after Stieglitz’s original opponent, Briton George Groves pulled out with injury..

At age 38, Hamdan in recent years has been a local circuit fighter, which has generated mixed levels of success and an appearance on The Australian version of ‘The Contender’ in 2009.

Hamdan has had one previous opportunity to fight for a world title, in February 2008 when he challenged compatriot and friend Anthony Mundine for his WBA super middleweight title, a bout he lost in a competitive fight, but via a wide points decision.
At one stage in his career, Hamdan was the WBC #2 ranked fighter at junior middleweight between 2002 and 2003, while Oscar De La Hoya reigned the division.

After being unable to earn a world title shot, at 32-0, Hamdan moved up to middleweight to take on compatriot Sam Soliman in a 2003 grudge match. Soliman won the bout and went on to win his next 13 consecutive fights.

Since then, Hamdan’s record has been 11-9-1. He has been in the ring with the likes of Arthur Abraham, Otis Grant and Mads Larsen (all overseas) and came up short on all occasions, but in his nine defeats has only suffered one stoppage loss which was in the 12th round of his 2004 bout with Abraham.

This moment against Stieglitz presents Hamdan an opportunity he never was able to realise during the most successful stage of his career and the opportunity to realise a lifelong dream of being a world boxing champion.

It has a different spin on the Mundine fight as will be looking to bring home a world title for Australia and become the first Australian full WBO champion.

It is a perfect case of better late than never.

Article posted on 04.05.2012

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