Next to Football, It's Boxing for Iraq

The origin of ‪boxing‬ as a sport, may be its acceptance by the ancient Greeks as an ‪‎Olympic‬ game. But earlier boxing records are depicted in ‪Sumerian‬ carvings in ‪‎Iraq‬, while an ancient ‪‎Egyptian‬ relief depicts two fist-fighters and spectators. Other examples can also be found in ‪Assyrian‬ and ‪Babylonian‬ art.

Waheed Abdulridha is an ‪‎Iraqi‬ soldier and was the sole representative for his country at the ‪‎Rio 2016 Olympics‬ in boxing. Abdulridha started ‪‎boxing‬ in 1989 and trains in the Iraqi capital of ‪‎Baghdad‬. His coach Hussein Ali said, boxing was the second most popular ‪sport‬ after football in ‪‎Iraq‬ and because of the current situation only has one fighter now but hopes to have five or six fully trained by the next ‪‎Olympics‬. 

"I want to prove to the whole world that the word '‪refugee‬' doesn't always represent fear and weakness. We need to prove to the world that we can still do something [as ‪refugees‬]" - Abdalla is an 18-year-old ‪Iraqi‬ ‪kickboxer‬ and member of ‪#‎TeamRefugees‬ at ‪Rio2016‬. 

Eighteen-year-old Gheith Karim was born in Iraq and raised in ‪Dearborn‬. The boxing community has already dubbed him "The Southpaw Prince", due to his skilled left hand technique in the ‪boxing‬ ring. He's garnered international support from the ‪‎Iraqi‬ community and stated: "I'm trying to put ‪‎Iraq‬ on the map. There's something special in Iraqi fighters. I want to put the Iraqi flag on the title. I want to make the community proud."

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