Riyadh Al-Azzawi

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Riyadh Alazzawi with his, defended 7 times, 3 world heavyweight kickboxing title belts, including: WKN, ISKA and KGP

Riyadh Al-Azzawi (Arabic: رياض العزاوي‎) (born in Baghdad, Iraq) is an Iraqi-British kickboxer and the 2008 World Kickboxing Network (WKN) World Champion[1] after a fight against 3-times world champion Tomasz Borowiec in the 91 kg category on February 12, 2008,[2][3] becoming the first-ever Arab World Champion in heavyweight kickboxing with a record 34-0 at the time and is now known as "The Golden Champion".[4][5] Riyadh Al-Azzawi is now still undefeated, with a record of 51-0 having secured his world heavyweight kickboxing title for the seventh time in Baghdad, Iraq.[6][7]

Career[edit]

Riyadh Al-Azzawi's kickboxing career goes back to a very young age. He started his sporting career in Iraq where he became champion, winning the gold medal when he was 15 years old. After winning the Arab Kickboxing Championships, Riyadh moved to London and continued his kickboxing career and was able to maintain his championship title and challenged for the British title. In 2003, Riyadh successfully defended his British title and won the European Championship bringing him a lot of attention from international media. Then, in 2008, he won the World Champion title in Stratford, London.

As a result of his title, he became hugely popular in Britain, Iraq and the Arab World. Al-Azzawi has also worked in arts and promotions, appearing in advertising, sponsorship of athletic items and in a video clip as an athlete.[8][9]

His brothers Mohammed and Ahmed Al-Azzawi are also sportsmen and Mohammed was a European champion in full contact.

In summer 2009, Al Arabiya Satellite Television reported that after a hiatus of almost one year, coming out of personal adversity, Riyadh Al-Azzawi had reportedly returned to training in order to defend his WKN and WKA world championship titles against challengers.[10] On March 4, 2016 he defended his World Kickboxing Network world title against American-English Brian Connor in London, UK by way of knockout. Riyadh is known for his spinning back kick, and it was his signature move that won him the fight

Riyadh Alazzawi fighting for his seventh world heavyweight kickboxing title in his hometown of Baghdad, Iraq.

On November 24, 2017 Al-Azzawi is defeated Tanislav Tomashevkii of Poland in the main event at Kickboxing Grand Prix held in Baghdad, Iraq.[11][12][13] Al-Azzawi was keen on defending his title in his hometown of Baghdad, Iraq, to bring a story of success to an otherwise war-torn nation.

Personal life[edit]

Aside from his kickboxing fans, Riyadh Al Azzawi is also famed for his two gold plated cars. The first of his cars was a Ferrari 458. In 2017, Riyadh also acquired a second gold plated car, being a G7 Brabus Mercedes Benz. Aside from his two cars, the Iraqi kickboxer is often spotted wearing gold clothing and jewellery. His adoration for the colour is one of the reasons he has won the title of ‘Golden Champion’. The fighter’s cars and lavish lifestyle has helped build the athlete an enormous social media following.

The kickboxing champion passed through a turbulent period in his life because of his association with Lebanese pop diva Suzanne Tamim who was brutally murdered in Dubai. Riyadh Al-Azzawi told The Sunday Times[14] in an exclusive interview that at the time of her murder, he and Suzanne were "married" (this despite vehement claims by Tamim's second husband and manager Adel Matouk that he and Suzanne Tamim were still legally married after she divorced her first husband Ali Muzannar. Matouk claims they had never divorced, despite the couple's bitter conflict and separation).

Riyadh Al-Azzawi had met Tamim, in Harrods in 2006. She was already receiving some threats to her life and he, a world kickboxing champion, had offered to help protect her. The couple became close and reportedly engaged in 2007.[15] Al-Azzawi and Tamim stayed with each other for 18 months before she was murdered during her stay in Dubai.

Al-Azzawi said in the interview that Tamim was being subjected to a string of threats and that he warned the London police of these serious threats on Suzanne's life. "I was there to protect her [Suzanne Tamim], but was doing it all by myself", claimed Al-Azzawi, "I didn’t get any help". Al-Azzawi said his spouse's former lover, Egyptian business tycoon and member of Egyptian Parliament Hisham Talaat Moustafa had offered Suzanne Tamim $50m to lure her away from Al-Azzawi and marry him — and threatened to pay $2m to a hitman to have Suzanne killed in revenge if she refused to marry him.[16]

Suzanne Tamim's body was found on July 28, 2008 in Dubai. The courts later found she was murdered by an Egyptian former police officer Mohsen al-Sukkari in return for $2 million from the business tycoon Hisham Talaat Moustafa, according to statements made by the suspected murderer to the investigators in Cairo. Consequently, the parliamentary immunity was dropped from Mr. Moustafa and he was arrested and charged. Both el-Sukkari and Moustafa were found guilty and sentenced to death by an Egyptian court on May 21, 2009.

Riyadh currently lives in London, where he has resided for over 15 years.

Al-Azzawi is extremely close with his two brothers, Mohammed and Ahmed Al-Azzawi, who are often found by his side. Mohammed, also a kickboxer, is former world heavyweight kickboxing champion.he is married.

Titles[edit]

  • Iraq Champion World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO)
  • Arab Champion World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO)
  • British Champion World Kickboxing Network (WKN)
  • European Champion World Kickboxing Association (WKA) and World Kickboxing Network (WKN)
  • World Champion World Kickboxing Network (WKN)
  • International Sport Karate and Kickboxing Association (ISKA)[17]
  • Kickboxing Grand Prix (KGP)

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ World Kickboxing Network: The New Generation of Kickboxing!
  2. ^ Dubai Sports Satellite interview (Arabic)
  3. ^ Al Arabiyya Satellite Television interview after winning the World title (Arabic)
  4. ^ "Riyadh Al-Azzawi headlines Kickboxing Grand Prix Baghdad - FIGHTMAG". FIGHTMAG. 2017-11-15. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  5. ^ MBC Satellite Television interview (Arabic)
  6. ^ "Riyadh Al-Azzawi Retains WKN World Title - FIGHTMAG". FIGHTMAG. 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  7. ^ "Riyadh Al-Azzawi victorious in hometown Baghdad - FIGHTMAG". FIGHTMAG. 2017-11-25. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  8. ^ Al Sharkiyya interview with Al-Azzawi about his sports and artistic involvement
  9. ^ Interview with Al An television station about sports and the arts (Arabic)
  10. ^ Al Arabiyya news item about Riyadh Al-Azzawi (Arabic)
  11. ^ "Riyadh Al-Azzawi victorious in hometown Baghdad - FIGHTMAG". FIGHTMAG. 2017-11-25. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  12. ^ Iskenderov, Parviz (2017-11-15). "Riyadh Al-Azzawi headlines Kickboxing Grand Prix Baghdad - FIGHTMAG". FIGHTMAG. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  13. ^ Keddle, Kieran. "KGP: Baghdad full fight card". muaythaigp.com. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  14. ^ Interview with "Sunday Times" about the Suzanne Tamim affair
  15. ^ The Independent: Billionaire faces death over pop star's murder
  16. ^ ArabianBusiness: Tamim told: 'Marry me for $50mn - or you're dead'
  17. ^ "Riyadh Al-Azzawai 'focused on' bringing Kickboxing Grand Prix to Baghdad and 'stronger' from personal turmoil". K1ANOOP. 2017-07-23. Retrieved 2017-11-28.

External links[edit]