The Prince’s Latest Match: Outcome Unexpected by Yemeni Fans [Archives:1998/45/Sports]

November 9 1998

Feather-weight boxing champion Naseem Hamid has made his fans accustomed to his achieving speedy victories through almost magical skills and adroitness. In his last match in New Jersey, US, against the Irish boxer Wayne McCullough, however, Naseem failed to give his usual enjoyable performance. The victory was hard to clinch, with only a 4-point difference. Naz kept his world boxing title. He is seen by many as a legend of the boxing ring, just like Mohammed Ali in heavy weight. 
Naz’s fans and many sports commentators considered the outcome of that match a sign of regression on Naseem’s part. 
Yemen Times has surveyed the opinion of a number of sportsmen on the Prince’s latest exploit. 
Yousuf Saleh Mohammed, boxing coach: 
Naseem really gave a good performance, but it wasn’t his usual high level of professionalism. Maybe this was due to the stiff resistance by McCullough. Naseem resorted to defensive and evasive tactics. 
He was trying to seize a good opportunity to deliver a knock-out. But McCullough’s fast reflex actions made it harder and harder for Naseem to decisively end the fight to his advantage. 
I think Naz will find it more difficult in his future fights to achieve a clear-cut victory. 
Mokhtar Hameed Saif, karate coach: 
When I started watching the game, I thought that Naseem will win in the third round, as he promised before the fight. Rounds followed each other and Naseem was unable to defeat his opponent, who showed a very good ability. I really became worried about his future. Is his recent marriage the reason behind this mediocre performance? 
Abdulhakeem Aaish, boxer: 
I think the main cause of Naseem’s relatively below-par performance was his opponent’s perseverance and stamina. It is only normal that Naseem should face a challenger with similar abilities. In the end he came out the winner and kept his world title. 
I think Naseem will be able to win in future challenges. 
Nasser Al-Taweeli, kung fu player: 
I was shocked by the Prince’s bad performance. It was totally unexpected. But our admiration for this champ will not waver. I hope he will be better in the future and back to form. 
Tareq Al-Boraq, footballer: 
Naseem has become rather slow in delivering his punches. Gone were his lightening attacks, which used to end with his opponent on the ground. Many people believe that Naseem is facing some problems which he did not disclose to his fans. His opponent’s stiff resistance also had something to do with it. 
Yemen Times’ S port Editor 
Naseem faced a very stubborn opponent with excellent physical fitness and good boxing skills that are almost similar to his. This made it difficult to for the Prince to deliver a decisive knock-out. 
Naseem tried several times to end the find to his advantage. The Irish opponent was on the offensive. However, by all standards, our champ was the better contestant due to his speed and skills. It was just a little regression.