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Annie ‘The Lioness’ Aroyan steps again into the ring in Dubai with a watch on changing into world champion

Few sports activities present such inspirational tales as boxing. The rise of a younger woman from a small Armenian village to grow to be Annie “The Lioness” Aroyan is the right instance.

“My mom would borrow cash from the neighbours and she or he would give it to me and say, ‘It’s important to go to pay for coaching’,” she stated. “I promised myself that I might not hand over. A lot of arduous issues occur in life, however I preserve wanting ahead.”

On Saturday, March 12, the 22-year-old tremendous bantamweight will step into the ring on the Grand Ballroom in Dubai’s Conrad Resort to tackle Saranyaphong Theinthong of Thailand, at  the “Countdown to the Center East Crown – Boxing Sequence 3”.

The occasion, promoted by DJMC Occasions and Group Roshan Sports activities Promotion, additionally features a conflict between Urvashi Singh of India and Halima Vunjabei of Tanzania for the vacant Ladies’s Worldwide Boxing Affiliation World Tremendous Bantam belt, within the first ever feminine world title battle within the UAE. 

It’s been a quick rise for somebody who didn’t take up boxing till the age of 15.

“Earlier than, in 2008, I began doing karate,” Aroyan stated from her coaching base at Dubai’s Actual Boxing Solely health club. “I did 5 years and I used to be champion of Armenia. Then the health club in our village bought closed down. So I needed to go to a different metropolis to proceed my karate coaching.

“There, they’d karate and boxing coaching subsequent to one another. I felt extra of a reference to boxing, so I stated I need to transfer to boxing. My mother stated: ‘Why? you’re already a blue belt.’ However I stated no, I can really feel that in boxing I can develop extra.”

It didn’t take her lengthy to make her mark on the newbie boxing scene in her nation.

“In 2015, after six months, I grow to be the champion of Armenia in boxing. So I moved to nationwide group. And from then, I began pondering I might attain a excessive degree as a result of even my dad and mom and coaches had been saying: ‘You’re made for boxing, you will have lengthy arms, you’re tall in your weight’, and I’ve good energy.”

“I participated in Bulgaria in 2017, and in 2019 I participated in World Championship in Russia. I used to be a three-time Armenian champion, junior and youth in 2015, 2016 and 2017.”

None of this is able to have occurred with out the assist and religion of her household, Aroyan stated.

“No matter I say, they by no means say no. I’m not from a wealthy household and generally, to be trustworthy, we don’t have the cash.”

“My mother is the largest supporter and she or he is the rationale I’m in Dubai and boxing,” she stated. “I got here right here to Dubai and I educated right here for a number of days. And he or she stated, keep right here and make your life. I thank my mom for her efforts and assist. She all the time supported me, and my father, my brother all the time supported me, as effectively.”

The arduous work and sacrifices paid off. Aroyan amassed greater than 70 newbie fights, earlier than turning skilled.

Like different boxers from her nation, she needed to go overseas earlier than making that step up, transferring to Dubai in 2019.

“In Armenia there was no skilled boxing. I all the time watched our boxers like Arthur Abraham, Vic Darchinyan, they had been by no means newbie, they immediately moved to being skilled. In Armenia the federal government doesn’t assist boxing a lot. So I used to be pondering I’ll lose years by staying newbie. I made a decision to show skilled. I don’t know why, however I really feel significantly better as knowledgeable.”

She has a file of six wins out of seven skilled fights, and in April 2019 she fought what’s to this point is her favourite bout but, in opposition to Thai boxer Nongnun Sor Praithong in Dubai.

“It was my fourth battle, at Emirates Golf membership, the opponent was excellent and it was a 50/50 battle,” Aroyan stated. “However I gained in 4 rounds, and I gained 48-36. It was very powerful.”

She has not fought since 2019, and she or he is eager to make up for misplaced time.

“Due to COVID and a hand damage I used to be in Armenia, however my coach and I at the moment are working arduous and I’m prepared for the March 12 battle.

“I’ve been working with my coach Waleed Din. We did energy conditioning, we did correct coaching, it was a correct camp.”

Subsequent Saturday, she is preventing six rounds of two minutes every in opposition to Theinthong in a battle that might propel her towards her subsequent purpose in boxing.

“My goal is all the time to maneuver one step ahead, and my subsequent step is a title battle,” Aroyan stated, a goal she might obtain in Could. “I need to be the perfect in my weight class, I need to be a world champion. I’m 22 years outdated, and after I see different boxers, who’re 30,35, 38, they’re all telling me, ‘you will have an excellent future,’ all of them see a future champ.”

She has ambitions past changing into a champion and, not surprisingly, they embrace going again to her roots in Armenia.

“My dream is to be a world champion, in fact, and assist my household,” she stated. “After I’m carried out boxing, I need to be a promoter, I need to assist youngsters from my nation flip skilled.”

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