Exclusive: Egyptian star Helal Jr. talks making boxing switch from MMA
Former kickboxer and Egyptian fighting star Helal Jr. has informed WBN of his desire to enter the boxing ring following a long stint in Mixel Martial Arts.
The 24-year-old, who took up boxing in 2019, revealed his decision this month and is now training for his debut as a prizefighter.
Participating in several disciplines throughout his career has Helal Jr. confident he can adapt to the rigors of pugilism in the coming years.
“I started Kickboxing at the age of 12 and switched to MMA at the age of 15, Helal explained to World Boxing News. “But I injured my ankle at the age of 20 and that’s when I had to stop MMA.
“I stayed at home for three months. Then my plan was to slowly get back to MMA by first doing boxing only. I stayed in Boxing only for one year but felt more comfortable.
“I had my first boxing fight in Singapore at The Ring Fighting Championship. Won by decision. I kept exploring my skills and stay dedicated to the sport of boxing until I had two more wins in a row including a Title Fight.
“I believe my footwork is what makes me different than any other amateur fighter.”
Asked how he feels about turning professional, Helal replied: “I feel that I want to explore my talents in the ring, and having three rounds only is not enough.
“I have learned a lot in my amateur fights. The top three attributes I have learned in my amateur career are conditioning, footwork, and power.
“Conditioning because I believe that if you have all the skills in the world, but you can gas out in the first round then all the skills are not going to help you.
“Footwork because it is what makes you attack or defend along with the head movement. And finally, the power, you want to knock people out not just score points.
“I feel hungry and looking forward to turning pro. Especially that my last fight in amateur was a loss when defending my TRFC Light Welterweight title against Velvan Tan.
“This loss has made me increase my skills and toughness. I spent one year doing nothing but training for the big opportunity.
“But after COVID-19, my 2020 plans have changed in terms of fights. but it didn’t change in terms of training.
“I have used COVID-19 and the lockdown as an opportunity to improve my speed, agility, endurance, eye, and coordination. Many more things.
“There is always a new skill to learn or improve your current ones.”
Helal now hopes to be back in action at the earliest opportunity once manager Omer Jemal can arrange it.
“As I mentioned, early COVID -19 destroyed all my scheduled fights. My manager came to me with the news that Brave Combat Federation will start organizing Professional Boxing Fights.
“I believe this will be a great opportunity for me to prove myself and show what I am capable of achieving. At the moment nothing signed yet, but we are staying ready.”
Concluding by quizzing Helal on his boxing influences, the young contender cited ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ as one of his heroes.
“Mike Tyson has been always the boxer that I look up to. Not only because of his style and aggression. But also because of his mindset and fearless character.
“I believe that 90% of Boxing is mental. If your mindset isn’t strong, then you are in the wrong sport.
“Along with Mike Tyson, in the new generation, I look up to Vasyl Lomachenko for his footwork and his mastering of most of his fights.
“I believe we both have a similar style of fighting. I am looking forward to showing my skills in my next Pro Fight, hopefully by the end of 2020.”
HELAL JR. PROFILE
Name: Helal Jr. (real name: Helal Adham)
Height – 167
Weight – 64
Division – Light Welterweight
Reach – 70 inch
Style – Boxing
Stance – Orthodox
Team – Monarchy MMA
Trainer – Jerald Jingjing Tepora
Manager- Omer Jemal
Total – (4)
Wins – (3)
Knockout – (0)
Decision – (3)
Losses (1 – D)
Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay