BUDDING FIGHTERS CREDIT SPORTING MUMS
Tiger mums are of a rare breed, roaring on their cubs as they play key roles in their fighting careers
THEY are not your usual mothers who cry and cringe if their sons get beaten up by somebody else.
In fact, expect Afida Ahmad and Nurhaliza Ujang to jump up and down on their feet, urging their sons to fight back and clobber the rivals.
Remarkably, these two women are tiger mums of a rare breed, roaring on their cubs as they play key roles in their fighting careers.
Coincidentally, both their sons are called “Aiman” and both are from Negri Sembilan — one is a boxer, the other an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter.
Aiman Abu Bakar, 25, is the boxer while Muhammad Aiman Raziz Affindi, 22, is the MMA fighter.
Their mothers did not frown when the two men decided to go into the “fighting business” after leaving college. Instead, the two women provided financial and moral support to start them off.
Aiman Abu Bakar, who is fast making a name for himself as a KO king in the boxing ring, said: “My mum is the support system of the family and someone who drives me on when I’m in difficult situations.”
Notably, Aiman’s mum, Afida, is a big fan of Muhammad Ali, and has encouraged him to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” since the age of 7.
Aiman was a footballer with the Negri Sembilan M-League team before he felt that he was much better with his fists.
Three years ago, to improve his boxing skill, Aiman went to the land of “Pacman” (Filipino great Manny Pacquiao) to set up his base, train and fight.
If you don’t have the heart and courage of Rocky, Manila, which is teeming with ferocious boxers, is not the place to go. Yet, fearless and determined is Aiman.
Fighting in the year-long Rise of Heroes Championship in the Philippines, Aiman has achieved an amazing record as a pro.
Packing a thunderous right hook that is lightning quick in flooring opponents, he has won all his seven fights so far, two by knockout, one in the first round, and one in the second round.
Aiman, who destroyed Filipino Roy Legrada in the very first round in a featherweight bout in Manila last month, says he wants to become “a world champion one day”.
Indeed, Malaysia has never seen a puncher like him. He has got the calibre and character to be a world beater. Hopefully, he is the Pacquiao that Malaysian boxing fans have been waiting for.
Aiman is the real deal, and our sports ministry should be standing in his corner when he fights to put Malaysian boxing on the world map.
At the other end, based in Bali is Muhammad Aiman, the Malaysian MMA featherweight champion with true grit.
Known as the “Jungle Cat”, Aiman is determined to make a name for himself in the region’s premier MMA series, the ONE Championship.
The MMA fighter is grateful to his mama, Nurhaliza, for believing in his dream, and for her unwavering support through good and bad times.
MMA may be a brutal combat sport, but that won’t stop Nurhaliza from supporting his career.
“She is like my manager... for free,” quipped Aiman. “Before I could start paying my own way, she was paying for everything for almost a year — food, flight tickets, hotels — you name it!” he added.
Until today, Aiman is still surprised by his mother’s unique character — by things she says or the things she does.
“She has made a lot of sacrifices for me. My mum, she really surprises me!,” said Aiman.
Therefore, both Aiman Abu Bakar and Muhammad Aiman treat every fight like the mother of all battles, with every win dedicated to Afida and Nurhaliza.
Didn’t they say that behind every successful man, there is a woman? For the two Aimans, it is certainly “mother knows best”, maternal instinct, fighting instinct, and all.
Their mothers did not frown when the two men decided to go into the ‘fighting business’ after leaving college. Instead, the two women provided financial and moral support to start them off.
(Left) Aiman Abu Bakar’s mum, Afida Ahmad, is a big fan of Muhammad Ali, and has encouraged him to ‘float like a butterfly and sting like a bee’ since the age of 7. (Top) MMA fighter Muhammad Aiman Raziz Affindi (second from right) is grateful to his mama, Nurhaliza Ujang, for believing in his dream, and for her unwavering support through good and bad times.