Born in 1989, Haithem Laamouz is currently the NSW State Australian Champion and the WBA Asia Champion whose boxing career had started in 2009 in Cyprus. He’s competed in no less than 62 fights with 52 wins, and has also participated in and won a number of top Olympic boxing events.
Laamouz had his first taste of success when he got the Gold in an England vs. Malta Club Tournament. In 2010, he had made the Quarter finals at the prestigious Mohamed IV Tournament in Morocco. He also made it to the finals for the famous Haringey Cup.
In May 2012, Laamouz made the finals at a Multi Nation Club Tournament in Ireland. The following June, he became London Champion and quarter finalist of the English National Boxing Championships.
After defeating Australia’s Ryan Goodes, Laamouz turned to professional boxing and had his first pro fight in Sydney in 2015. He fights in the super light weight division at 63.5kg.
What’s your connection to Malta, and what made you decide to leave our shores?
I was born and raised on the island, as my mother is Maltese. I moved to Australia to pursue my boxing career. Australia could open doors for me as I’d be able to have a coach and manager, a professional level of training and sparring, and the opportunities to get matched up with good opponents and win titles.
You’re definitely working hard towards your dream of becoming a World Champion. How is this challenging you personally?
The personal challenge is of course being away from my family and friends and the change of lifestyle here. But I adapt quickly and I make friends wherever I go, so it’s all good. I focus on my aim and keep winning and climbing the ranks.
Boxing has taken you to various places around the world. Which place has so far struck you the most?
Definitely Australia, because I feel that I’m improving so much and I’ve achieved a good level here in just the span of nine months.
Should more kids be encouraged to take up boxing?
It ‘s a noble sport of discipline. You have to put so much time and effort to improve, but it will teach the individual to show respect, appreciate, learn the meaning of effort and what rewards you get from putting that effort and work in. It gives kids self-confidence.
Can you recall your first professional fight?
Yes, I remember it well. Being in the ring hadn’t been new to me, since I already had 62 previous fights behind me. Still, I was very nervous because I was the away fighter fighting in my opponents’ home crowd. I was the opponent, the underdog. The crowd thought I was going to get knocked out. I was also wearing smaller gloves than what I’d be given as an amateur, no head guard and no vest. When they called my name out, my heart started to beat really fast, and to calm myself I punched the wall a few times. Then I calmed down when the DJ played my entrance song. All the tension, nerves and doubt were all gone, and I knew I was ready. I surely upset the crowd with the victory and performance I gave.
You’ve got an upcoming fight in August in Malta against a Bosnian opponent for the Balkan title. How are preparations going?
I prepare myself well, training twice a day. The first session consists of cardio vascular training and physical conditioning, and the second half emphasises on boxing skills by doing pads with my coach, punching the bag, working on footwork drills, and once or twice a week I spar with different opponents. I’ll be staying on in Malta for an extra month to visit family and friends.