Not much more than two years ago she was in hospital with gunshot wounds in hands, knees and feet following an attack from her estranged stepfather just minutes before a world title fight, and no one expected her to ever lace on the gloves again. Now she is the World Boxing Federation Womens World Light Welterweight Champion!
The Comeback story of Rola El Halabi continues to grow, and on Saturday night, August 3, it peaked when she defeated Hungarian Dalia Vasarhelyi at the Laubach Arena in Laubach, Germany to lift the WBF World title left vacant when superstar Holly Holm recently retired.
After ten absorbing rounds, the 28-year-old from Ulm was deservedly awarded the unanimous decision with scores of 98-91 (Jean-Marcel Nartz), 99-91 (Dominique Schmit) and 99-91 (Alexander Plumanns), but the contest was much more competitive than the numbers suggest.
Vasarheliy, a 20-year-old philosophy student from Budapest, proved tough as nails, and when El Halabi really dished it out in the last three rounds she didn’t buckle where many would have. It was however clear in the end that the local star was the better fighter, and the 3500 fans that packed the outdoor arena gave her excellent support all the way.
El Halabi’s story is well-known in Germany, where she has published a book about her struggle and appeared on several TV talk shows, and it was obvious that everyone in attendance was thrilled to have witnessed what must be considered one of the most successful comeback stories in boxing history.
With the victory El Halabi improves her professional record to 12-1 (6), while former European title-challenger Vasarhelyi falls to a very misleading 4-4 (0).