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Story behind Fight of Champions



On Tuesday, professional boxer Farkhan Haron and I were invited to be on RTM's Planet Sukan as we spoke about boxing.

As we stepped out of the studio right after the show, I asked Farkhan why didn't he fight in the recent Fight of Champions?

"Technical issues" was his brief reply followed by a smile. He refused to elaborate further.

Farkhan was earlier listed to compete in the Fight of Champions.

Farkhan is sponsored by Tunku Ismail. He also said this during Tuesday's live show on TV1.

And here's what I learnt hours earlier.

Tunku Ismail Ibrahim was supposed to be involved in the fight but the deal between him and Manny Pacquiao but a "disagreement of certain terms" resulted in the Crown Prince of Johor opting out from the event.

I wrote, on March 9, that Manny had visited Tunku Ismail twice late last year over the possibility of organising a boxing match.

Later, there were concerns that the organiser MP Production did not engage a local organiser, a requirement stated in the Sports Development Act 1997, forcing representatives from the Youth and Sports Ministry to step in.

The Fight of Champions failed to mirror the greatest fight ever held in Malaysia - the 1975 bout between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner at the Merdeka Stadium.

Questions were also raised regarding the organisational aspect of the event, as reported by Twentytwo13.

Manny pledged he would donate the boxing ring and equipment after the event. This was reported by Inquirer.

So where are the equipment? Who is keeping them? And who will be using them?

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UPDATE (March 25, 3.15pm): Tunku Ismail Ibrahim resigns as FA of Malaysia president.
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UPDATE (March 17, 9.52am): As of late last night, it's status quo at Wisma FAM.
Tunku Ismail Ibrahim remains as president as "no resignation letter was submitted".
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UPDATE (March 16, 8.25am): FA of Malaysia general-secretary Datuk Hamidin Amin said: 
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Read his full statement here.


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