Port Elizabeth woman in “Last Fighter Standing”
Razell Mohamed (27) from West End in Port Elizabeth is a fighting machine in the boxing-ring.
Mohamed, a student teacher at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is one of four women who will be competing in her weight division at Last Fighter Standing in Johannesburg in October. If she wipes out her opponents there, she will be walking away with about R200 000 in her pocket in prize money – money that could move mountains for a struggling student.
Although she is comparatively new to the top fighting circles, she is unbeaten as an amateur.
“I’ve never lost a fight,” she says. “I usually take part in big fights as an underdog, the unknown girl from the Port Elizabeth. Marketing yourself is everything in the world of Martial Arts and I’m way too shy to do that. But I think my image of being an “underdog” brings somewhat of a surprise that will make the victory so much sweeter.”
Mohamed’s forte is kickboxing, boxing and Muay Thai. When she’s not in front of the chalk board at Westering Primary School where she’s doing her teaching practical, she’s in Lion’s Boxing and Fitness Gym being taught the ropes by experienced boxer Ivan Strydom and provincial wrestlers.
“The Last Fighter Standing competition came at me quite suddenly. I took part in a fight in Cape Town and Ivan de Vries, a legendary boxer, noticed my talent and asked if I would like to enter,” she remembers. “I love fighting so I agreed immediately – even though the prelims were only two weeks away. I have a bit more time now to prepare. The hardest part is eating right, especially without a sponsor. One needs supplements and the right foods. At the end of the day, it is so much cheaper to go buy a loaf of bread at the shop.”
For her, an hour in the ring is the same as an hour of relaxing in a warm bath after a long day.
“If you count fighting with your brother in your childhood, then I’ve already been fighting my whole life long,” she jokes.
“By the way, it was my brother, Rhiyaad, who shouted at me and told me to focus during the Prelims. If I want to win the prize money, I will need to get my focus right with my heart and soul. Sometimes, a bit of focus is the only thing standing between you and your successes.”