Old Hill lightweight and devout Muslim, Manny Zaber, has been juggling training with celebrating Ramadan as he prepares for his latest outing.
The undefeated fighter steps into the ring for the sixth time this weekend as he takes on Gloucester’s Andy Harris in Tewskbury on Western Country Boxing’s three-fight card.
Being a professional boxer and practising Muslim does have its challenges during the month of Ramadan which this year took place between 6th June and 5th July – the vast majority of Zaber’s camp for this weekend’s showdown with Harris.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and Muslims fast during daylight hours from dawn to sunset. Training for a fight can be difficult enough but to fast throughout is a challenge that has meant Zaber’s camp has been a little unorthodox.
“It’s been a different camp this time around,” he told www.uko-boxing.com. “When you are fasting, it’s hard to really train much because you are not eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset. We do that for an entire month so I’ve adjusted my routine to suit and have just ticked over fitness-wise and worked on my technique.
“I’ve got a good engine anyway so the fitness is there. It’s been useful to work on my timing, which is something I’m keen to improve. It’s not about throwing lots andlots of shots; it’s about picking your punches and timing them. This camp has given me the opportunity to work on that aspect of my game.
“I’m a proud Muslim and Ramadan is important to me. It has been hard as I’ve not been eating from about 2.30am to 9.30pm each day, so that’s not without its challenges.
“Ramadan finishes last week so I’ve had a good last week or so of my camp and I’m feeling energised.
“Andy is a very experienced fighter. He knows what his doing but I am 100% just expecting another W on my record.”
‘There’s A Storm Coming’ is topped by Adam Harper who takes on Lithuanian, Deividas Sajauka for the International Middleweight Challenge Title.
Gloucester lightweight, Akeem Ennis-Brown, steps in with Plymouth’s Chris Adaway to complete the card.
Tickets, priced at £50 VIP and £30 unreserved standard, are available by calling 07772 466 790.