Olympic bronze medalist, Mohammed Rabii, made a successful professional debut in the Czech Republic on Saturday, claiming a first round stoppage against Lazlow Kovacs II at the Sportovni Hala Kralovka in Prague.
Rabii’s win became all the more special with the birth of his first child just hours after he claimed victory in his professional debut.
“On the way to the arena, I received a call that my wife was in labor and my son was coming soon,” said Rabii. “The fight couldn’t come quick enough for me. I was very excited, but I had to concentrate on my first fight as a pro because it was such a big moment for me. The news later that my son had arrived was a reason for a double celebration.
“Every time I connected on Kovacs, I could see that it was affecting him. I knew it was all over because I hit him with a big punch that me and my coach, Donald Leary, had worked on in training camp. I cannot wait for my next fight in April.”
Rabii emerged as one of the leading amateur prospects in recent years, winning Gold at the 2015 AIBA World Amateur Championships and claiming a Bronze medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Rabii’s professional debut had been scheduled for February 28th, in Casablanca, Morocco. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the event was cancelled.
“I had to reschedule his pro debut for March 11th against the same opponent, Kovacs,” said Rabii’s manager, Gary Hyde. “Kovacs fights between 154 and 168 pounds, which is much heavier than the 147-pound welterweight division in which Rabii fights.
“Mohammed learned during his warm-up for the fight that his wife was in labor and close to delivering his first child. He had other things to take care of before concentrating on his family affairs, wasting no time as he annihilated Kovacs until dropping his Hungarian opponent hard near the end of the opening round. Czech spectators gasped as Rabii’s thunderous punches connected. Kovacs somehow got to his feet to beat the count but he was visibly shaken, and the referee wisely stopped the fight. Rabii had no time to celebrate, though, as he rushed to contact his family back in Morocco, happily learning his wife had given birth to the couple’s baby boy at 7 a.m. Sunday morning.”