Press Play: Doghouseboxing.com writer Daniel Smart caught up with former Australian boxing warrior, and 2 x Australian champion and 2 x world title challenger, Nader "Lionheart" Hamden on what was a fantastic career on some of the biggest stages in world boxing.
Nader Hamdan (43-11-1 18KOs) is a great story. The former 2 time world title challenger and multiple regional and national champion, lived his younger life the hard way. In this broad interview, the 39 year old Sydney, Australia resident talks about his experiences in the ring, his battle with retirement, and his life after boxing.
Nader Hamdan is your typical boxing story. An angry young man, who went from a lengthy period in juvenile detention after a life of crime and street fighting in the mean streets of Sydney, to a man who twice fought for credible world titles, and became a role model to thousands of troubled youth in Sydney. Hamdan is living proof to troubled youth that it is never too late to start making the right decisions.
When asked about his journey into the sport, Hamdan had this to say, “I was about 21 years old and just loved to fight, I promised myself I would never go back to where I was and wanted to stay away from prison, I went into a boxing gym and never looked back, boxing was a great challenge for me and I needed it at that time of my life”.
The man affectionately known as “Lionheart” became one of the most feared brawlers in Australian boxing. Hamdan won multiple Australian and Regional titles and also challenged for the WBA super middleweight strap against countryman, Anthony Mundine whom he took the distance. and just before retiring fought for the WBO super middleweight crown against the 1st man to stop Arthur Abraham, Germany’s Robert Steiglitz on just 7 days notice.
Along with those guys, Hamdan has fought Nobuhiro Ishida(recently knocked out by Gennady Golovkin), whom he comfortably beat in Japan, Otis Grant, Sam Soliman, and Mads Larsen. He has travelled far and wide (Germany twice, Japan, Croatia and Canada) to take on anyone at anytime, something that seems to be lost with a lot of so called “world champions” these days. Interesting to note, was Hamdan had only ever been stopped once in his career, the final round of a 12 round war with Abraham. When asked who was the best of his opposition, Hamdan replied “Abraham hit the hardest, Mundine was the quickest, and Otis Grant was the slickest! Steiglitz was relentless to, Abraham was like a tank, very powerful guy, all those great fighters brought something different to the table”.
Since retirement, Hamdan says he constantly deals with the “war within” to stop himself getting back in the ring. It’s an inch that a lot of fighters cannot seem to scratch as evident with a lot of guys making comebacks to the sport, only for it too end badly. Hamdan has made the right decision. As loved as he is by fight fans, Nader is a fighter who got the very best out of his abilities and I doubt that many would want to see him comeback at the risk of getting hurt badly. He has had a fantastic career and continues to inspire not only youth in the Muslim community, but the Australian community as a whole. He himself knows there is nothing more to prove when it comes to boxing.
His contribution to the sport in this country will never be forgotten along with his heart and fight in the square circle.
On behalf of doghouseboxing.com and all fight fans around the world, we wish the “Lionheart” all the very best in retirement. What a warrior he is.