“My boxing journey started when I was 16. The famous boxer at the time was Prince Nasem Hamed, and I remember watching lots of his boxing videos back in the day.
I was a student at ITE Bedok back then, and a group of my friends persuaded me to join them at Farrer Park to learn boxing under Coach Syed Kadir. He was the guru; the main boxing icon in Singapore. He’s now the President of SABA, which is the Singapore Amateur Boxing Association.
Coach was a very generous man. He taught me the basics of boxing without asking for anything in return. I was only able to pay him back six years later when I was a working adult. He also gave me my first hand wrap and my first pair of gloves. They were brand new, so I remember feeling very happy.
Now, I’m the boxing coach at Onyx MMA. I’ve been with Onyx for three years already. I really love what I do here because of the passion I have for boxing. As a coach, I impart discipline and respect for the craft. I also need to ensure that you have the basics right before you can proceed to more advanced stuff.
Yes, we do send our boxers for fights. I can’t compete because I suffer from meningitis. It’s an infection of the brain which causes epilepsy, so it’s wise for me to stay out of the ring. Because of this condition, I do feel like I’m living my life through the boxers I train. When they lose, I feel the pain, and when they win, I feel their excitement too.” – Iskandar, 33
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