Photo: Team “Fight 4 Peace”
Both fighters made weight for Tuesday’s “Fight 4 Peace” in Kabul, Afganistan, the first professional boxing match in that country’s history. Local favorite Hamid Rahimi (20-1, 9 KOs) weighed in at 159.6 lbs and Said Mbelwa (19-8-4, 12 KOs) from Tanzania weighed 159.8. The WBO has officially sanctioned the bout as the WBO Intercontinental ‘Peace’ Championhip with the winner getting a spot in the top 15 middleweight world rankings.
Mbewla: I’ve said it before, and I say it again: the ‘Fight 4 Peace’ sends an important message, and I have great respect for Hamid Rahimi and his team for organizing this great event. But once the bell sounds, that will end. They’ve brought in the wrong man. I will knock Rahimi out.
Rahimi: What we’ve done here is unique. There is so much positive energy in Kabul and throughout Afghanistan that I feel I can’t lose. I’m going to get the win for my people and my country. But more important is the message of the’Fight 4 Peace’ to the world: Afghanistan is not synonymous with war and terrorism. If we can stand together to put on this event, then we can also send a message of peace, freedom and hope.