WKN kickboxing world champion from England Riyadh Al-Azzawi has one wish – the peace for his country of birth Iraq and its people.
Baghdad-born Riyadh Al-Azzawi aka ‘Golden Champion’, 35, is a four-time WKN world title holder, as well as European and British champion. He competes under original kickboxing rules known as ‘Full Contact’. Last March Al-Azzawi retained his belt against American-English Brian Connor at York Hall in London, UK. Spectacular spinning-back kick ended the clash of heavyweights in the first round. Al-Azzawi is credited to be the first ever Arab who won kickboxing world title in the heavyweight category.
Full Contact has been widely practiced by Hollywood stars Chuck Norris and Don ‘Dragon’ Wilson. The first kickboxing world champions are Isaias Duenas, Bill Wallace, Jeff Smith and Joe Lewis (RIP).
Made in WKN
Riyadh Al-Azzawi earned his first title of the WKN world champion in 2008. He defeated a former three-time title holder Tomasz Borowiec from Poland. In 2011 ‘Golden Champion’ told Fightmag that challenge was his hardest to date. Since he has defended his title five times.
“WKN means a lot to me, its my second home and my second family. Without WKN I wouldn’t be where I’m now,” says six-time WKN champion Al-Azzawi.
“Stephane Cabrera [WKN president] is like a big brother to me,”
“He supports me all the way mentally and physically,”
“He has been always there for me, especially when I had a very difficult time in my personal life.”
“I want to say thank you to Stephane Cabrera,
“It is my pleasure to have a big brother like you and to be part of WKN family.”
Champion first, Ferrari second
In 2014 Riyadh Al-Azzawi broke the news across the Planet when he gold-plated his £200K Ferrari. Daily Mail outlined that the ‘super-cars are always something of a status symbol and Ferraris come pretty high up even that lofty hierarchy’.
“The nickname ‘Golden Champion’ was chosen by WKN,” Al-Azzawi says proudly. “This is where it originally came from.”
“It is always honorable to win a gold medal, a gold crown, a gold title belt.”
“Since I was a kid who has just started kickboxing, I always dreamed to be at the top, to earn one of those gold medals,”
“Thanks God my dream came true and I’ve got six of them now. I am ‘surrounded’ by gold color.”
“Eventually this color became my official symbol, so I plated my Ferrari in gold.”
In March Riyadh Al-Azzawi defended his WKN world title for the third time. He also updated his record to 48-0. Following the victory ‘Golden Champion’ was interviewed by several networks, including famous BBC. Al-Azzawi also made it to Fightmag cover featuring international boxing hall of fame referee from the United States Steve ‘Double S’ Smoger himself.
“I want to support and unite people in Iraq,” says Baghdad-born living in London kickboxing champion.
“Every where I go [TV stations] my message is clear and always the same,”
“Bring peace to my country and to my people.”
“Iraq has been going through a very difficult time. People suffer.”
“The money gained from my latest bout in London were donated to these people.”
“For me by winning all these bouts is not for any money or fame.”
“I aim my victories to be a symbol to bring Iraqi people together. This would be the biggest victory.”
“I want to unite them the same way our loved sport units people, wipes out borders and leaves no differences or disagreements.”
“At the moment, this is the least I can do for my great country.”
— Parviz Iskenderov (@ParvizIskender) April 23, 2016
To pay respect
Although Riyadh Al-Azzawi is currently working on something new, the 35-years-old kickboxer does not hang his gloves yet. Indeed, he wants his following bout to be held at a very special place.
“I will fight again, yes.”
“Though at the moment I’m concentrating on my own business,”
“I am developing the first product that will be a pre-workout supplement suitable for all athletes.”
“The chosen brand name is ‘Golden Horse’, it will be launched soon.”
“However, regardless business, I really hope my next fight will be in Baghdad,”
“The city where I was born that gave me all the strength and ambition to become a champion.”