World Amateur Champion Mohammad Rabii Wins
Pro Debut & Becomes First-Time Father Within Hours
Last Saturday night in the Czech Republic, 2016 Olympic
bronze medalist Mohammad Rabii experienced a rare "double"
as he successfully turned pro and a few hours later became a
father for the first time.
The 23-year-old Rabii, fighting out of Morocco, turned in a
sensational professional debut, stopping Lazlow Kovacs II
(11-6) at the 2:35 mark of the opening round at Sportovni
Hala Kralovka in Prague.
Rabii entered the ring knowing his wife, Imane Imari, was in
labor. "On the way to the arena," Rabii explained, "I
received a call that my wife was in labor and my son was
coming soon. 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 reason for a double
"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
Rabii's son (unnamed at this writing) tipped the scale at 10
pounds, 3 ounces. He and his mother are both in good health.
Rabii was one of the leading pro prospects coming of the
Olympic Games in Brazil. He had dropped a highly-disputed
decision (0-3) in the semifinals to Uzbekistan boxer
Shakhram Giyasov, the eventual silver medalist. Rabii
captured a coveted gold medal at the 2015 AIBA World Amateur
Championships, ironically, defeating 2016 Olympic gold
medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov in the welterweight division
Rabbi had planned to make his pro debut prior to the arrival
of his baby, who was due February 18, training in Cork,
Ireland for his originally scheduled pro debut February 28
in Casablanca. However, due to reasons beyond the event
organizers' control, that show was unfortunately cancelled.
"I had to reschedule his pro debut for March 11th against
the same opponent, Kovacs," said Rabii's manager Gary Hyde,
president of Nowwhere2Hyde Management. "Kovacs fights
between 154 and 168 pounds, which is much heavier than the
147-pound welterweight division in which Rabii fights.
"Mohammad 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."