By Richard Brown
Featherweight boxing celebrity Prince Naseem Hamed is to return to the ring live and exclusively in the region on Arab Digital Distribution (ADD), the pay-TV company.
ADD revealed that its Al Awael, FirstNet and Pehla platforms will cover the 12-round title fight from the London Arena as Naseem boxes Manuel Calvo of Spain in the International Boxing Organisation’s World Featherweight Championship. The bout will be screened on May 18 on the Super Sport channel in Egypt and ART Sports 2 for the rest of the Middle East.The contest marks a comeback for 31-year-old Naseem, a showman of Yemeni extraction whose antics include somersaulting into the ring. The boxer has not fought for over a year since he was floored and made to look clumsy and amateurish by Marco Antonio Barrera in Las Vegas last year. Vinod D’Mello, executive vice president of marketing and network development at ADD said: “Prince Naseem is one of the greatest showmen boxing has seen with his elaborate ring entrances, back flips and clowning during fights that have drawn many thousands of spectators to his fights. ADD is proud to be bringing the Middle East Naseem’s first bout since Barrera knocked him down in Las Vegas, after which the former WBC, WBA and IBF champion did not fight for almost a year. All these factors add up to the drama of this encounter.”