In Jan 2016, the administrative center of Johor goverment Nusajaya, was renamed Iskandar Puteri.
Then on Nov 22 this year, Iskandar Puteri achieved city status. Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar officiated at the ceremony at Medini Iskandar.
Iskandar Puteri is the old name of the state administration centre that was relocated from Teluk Belanga in Singapore before the name was changed to Johor Baru in 1866.
To celebrate this newly-acquired city status, a huge carnival is being organised packed with countless activities. Last weekend on 25-26 Nov, the first part of the carnival ISKARNIVAL KOOL
hosts movers and shakers from various industries such as music, visual arts, food and beverage, technology, heritage, human resources and environmental preservation.
Visitors were entertained by talented Los Angeles-based internationally-acclaimed singer-songwriter Yuna and veteran local artiste Sheila Majid. The musical acts was accompanied by outdoor activities such as fly-boarding, giant board games and the Mini Spartan Race.
This coming weekend 2-3 Dec, ISKARNIVAL AKTIF
will host plenty of other sports events that are being organised at EduCity sports complex, such as the Sundown Marathon, The Major League Championed by Celcom, EduCity Swim Meet and the upcoming EduCity Duathlon.
Iskarnival Aktif will feature the inaugural Iskandar Puteri Sevens rugby tournament. The Academy of Esports (AOES) which brings partners to educate Esports enthusiasts and open career opportunities in the Esports industry. Concert Aktif will feature local artistes Zainal Abidin, Joe Flizzow and Alleycats.
So what’s in store for fight fans??
Fight fans, no worries, you are not left out. Kick-boxing fans will get to enjoy an action packed ISKARNIVAL K1 INTERNATIONAL KICKBOXING,
a two-day pro level competition showcasing fighters from Brazil, America, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.
Amateur mixed martials arts (MMA), under the banner of ULTIMATE BEATDOWN will also be held in the indoor stadium.
|check out the Martial Arts timing at Zone C
We talked about how it all started for him in this world of combat sports.
It was 10 years ago when taking a break from his marketing research job, he took a video & photo shooting assignment in a local Muaythai event in the state of Kedah. Kedah with its close proximity to Thailand have a long history of cultural exchanges, which include Muaythai. In Malaysia it’s call Tomoi.
Back then, people address him as Abang Mus. According to him, local events in Kedah were already quite well organised with good lighting and great sound system set up. He was searching for information on the local fighters in the internet but to his disappointment, none was available. Media coverage on these fighters was almost non existence.
He got some very nice shots and made many new friends in the Muaythai scene. Even though he does not have any martial arts background, his interest in Muaythai grew from one event to the next. He was hungry for information on local Muaythai personality, and was waiting for someone in the media industry to start covering it.
“I waited for someone who has vast knowledge
and connection about martial art leading the way, but still nobody want to
start it. So in July 2007 I decided to start blogging via boxxtomoi.blogspot
even though I have no background in computer and design.
Frankly speaking, I have little, really very little knowledge
about martial art and about computer. I was hoping somebody younger and knowledgeable
would than start blogging on the same topic, so I could read rather than
During the early days very few photographer cover Muaythai event. Armed with his knowledge of photography and video editing, and the information he gather on the fighters, Musaddik was able to create good content for his blog.
Boxxtomoi.blogspot became a success and more and more people follow it as it was the only good source of Muaythai news and infor in Malaysia. He name his blog Boxxtomoi, from the acronym BOXX ( Beyond Our Xtraordinary Xpectation ).
In the early days according to Musaddik, Muaythai exponents do not favour pictures of them hurt with bruises and cuts. But far from it nowdays, fighters show off their injuries, be it blood, cuts or scars proudly as a sign of courage and strong fighting spirit.
His networking also grew.
“I can speak a bit better English than the rest in the Muaythai community, so during events part of my job was to take care of the ‘farang’ (foreigner). That is how I got my international fighters and gym connection.
I also make many friends from my blog. When there’s a big event in Kedah, I would bring volunteers all over Malaysia to help out, to let them experience and to learn first-hand how big events are executed. Most of these volunteers are still active in the sports today and one of them is Alvin Chong (AC), now a successful gym owner ( Borneo Combat Gym Labuan) and martial arts event promoter.
|Pak Mus with Alvin Chong
In 2008 Boxxtomoi move to a proper web site www.boxxtomoi.com and began to go into print publications.
2008 – 2010 it produced 5 issue of Boxxtomoi Magazine. It further expanded,…
2012-2013 we have our own Muaythai stadium in Kubang Semang a small town near Bukit Mertajam Penang.
Both the above project we started with the same reason as our blog, we waited but nobody wants to take the initiative to start it,… so we just do it ourselves!
|fighters with BOXXTOMOI magazine
|Building the 1st Muaythai Stadium in Malaysia
Musaddik was still focusing on Muaythai events in Kedah during those times. He was born in the town of Kulim in Kedah and his home sentiments was still strong. But to grow, he knew he need to move out of Kedah.
This is where his close rapport with the Borneo Muaythai community started. In 2014, he build connection with Muaythai Association in Sabah & Sarawak, colloborating, supporting and guiding them in growing the sports in Borneo.
It was a right move as Borneo Muaythai exponents from Sabah & Sarawak, from only few years of development are now among the top in Malaysia.
In 2014 through close working relationship with Dihnar group, Boxxtomoi colloborated with D1FC
for the Lion Fight title belt fight in France. Producing the first Boxxtomoi European Lady Champion (56.7kg), Lena Ovchynnikova (Ukraine).
|Lena Ovchynnikova (right)
Following year in 2015, producing the first Boxxtomoi European Champion, Jakub Pretorian Gazdík (Slovakia) event in Italy.
Since 2007 Boxxtomoi was involved in more than 40 events, both their own promotions or events where they act as consultant.
2014 ended well for Boxxtomoi as they received an award of gold medal from IFMA for contribution towards Muaythai development in Malaysia.
Some of the major events that BOXXTOMOI has promoted:
Now fondly being address as Pak Mus, at 58 years of age, he is still very passionate about Muaythai and combat sports.
“Events always makes me energetic. I love taking new challenges. The biggest challenge in this industry is securing sponsorship.
I love to execute new ideas be it mine or from others. To maintain steps ahead and to stay relevant, I made it a point to have young and energetic people in my team.”
Pak Mus explained that not being a practitioner of Muaythai does gives him an edge. He is no doubt a fan of the sports, this gives him different perspective and added advantage as a promoter, because as a fan he understand what the fans wants. Fans come to watch fights most of the time expecting action, hence he emphasis the aspect of entertainment strongly in his events.
He also fully understand that to ensure a following of the sports, a good fan base must be built. This is achieved by building a connection between fans and the fighters. Hence promoting individual fighter becomes crucial.
A fighter with potential needs to be developed not just in their combative skills but also their personality and image so that the interest for fans to watch him fight is there. Furthermore with the boom in social media nowadays, fans can follow their favourite fighters closely almost instantly.
In his events, he provide a platform for them to show off their skills, but out of the ring, Pak Mus also advice and guide them in building their own brand name as a fighter.
Pak Mus is particularly proud with the Muaythai exponents from Borneo. He said few years back no one pays much attention to fighters from Borneo. But through Boxxtomoi involvement in Borneo Muaythai and the development from the state association, over just a few years, Borneo Muaythai fighters are now among the best in the country.
|Pak Mus with Shah (middle) and Maman Ajmain (left) – founder of 66 Unicorn Sandakan
Among the services and products available from Boxxtomoi are consultation of events, t-shirt designs, fight gears and also events poster design.
Pak Mus believe K1 Kickboxing event has very good potential in Malaysia. It gives opportunity for all practioner of stand up martial arts to battle it out in the ring with a common easy to follow rules set.
On Iskarnival K-1 International Kickboxing.
This is our first K-1 rules event. When we approached our sponsor a year ago, it was supposed to be called MotoKombat, a combine event consists of Moto (Motorcycle) and Combat sport activities and competition.
The purpose for this carnival type event is to:
- Maximize usage of the venue and facilities.
- Sharing crowds of different demographic background and interest.
- Giving fans a full day of non-stop activities.
“My initial plan was to have Silat as part of the MotoKombat event, but they have another event a week earlier, so we decided to replace it with Ultimate Beatdown MMA, from reknown local Johorian promoter Melvin Yeoh an old friend, we struggled together in the early years, he with his MMA gym and me as a Muaythai promoter.”
|Pak Mus having a discussion with Melvin Yeoh
Iskarnival K1 Kickboxing will feature a total of 16 pro bouts (8 per day). Pak Mus has taken much efforts and time to get the best fighters in Malaysia to be featured in the cards with some of the best international fighters from the region.
Four Boxxtomoi belt will be in contention:
In Day 1, Bout 4, Faiza Riezan (Papy Chulo) a boxer from Tawau will rely on his fist to get the job done against Charlie Pennington of England. Papy was a boxing gold medalist in 2013 SUKMA and dominate Sabah Games boxing from 2011 to 2013.
Charlie has height to his advantage and also good kicks. Works in Singapore and trained at one of Singapore top martial arts gym Fight G. He is Ultimate Beatdown 22 Kickboxing Welterweight Champion.
This fight is for the ISKARNIVAL K1 INTERNATIONAL -80kg title belt.
ISKARNIVAL K1 INTERNATIONAL -80kg
CHARLIE ‘THE PRAYING MANTIS’ PENNINGTON
FIGHT G (UK)
Vs. PAPY CHULO (TAWAU SABAH) TIM’S MUAYTHAI
The hi-light of Day 1 will end with a action pack female fight between Jihin Radzuan of Ultimate MMA Johor vs her opponent from across the causeway Nabilah Razak of Singapore. Jihin is Malaysian MMA queen, MIMMA 4 Female champion and undefeated and recently turn pro.
Also undefeated in Muaythai, she recently defeated Singaporean Muaythai veteran, Marilyn in a very tough fight in October’s Johor Muaythai Open, winning the Johor Sports & Youth Exco title belt.
Then in November she fought in Ultimate Beatdown 25 for the Super 8 Kickboxing and again went undefeated to claim the belt.
WOMAN K1 INTERNATIONAL -50kg
JIHIN ‘THE SHADOWCAT’ RADZUAN (JOHOR)
ULTIMATE MMA ACADEMY
Vs. NABILAH RAZAK (SINGAPORE) YOD KAI MUAY
This is a fight that I believe will produce most action. Bow Suweilek, a former World Muaythai Champion with more than 100 bouts under his belt has been a regular in the Muaythai scene in Malaysia. He has travel around Malaysia to coach Muaythai and before coming back to KL, was in Sabah & Labuan.
His opponent Diego from Brazil is a relentless fighter that recently KO his Thai opponent in round 1 of MAX Muaythai.
–ISKA INTERNATIONAL 67KG
DIEGO BENEDUZZI (BRAZIL) TIGER MUAYTHAI
Vs. BOW SUWEILEK (THAILAND) UNDERGROUND KL
The main card is between Japanese Karate Black Belt Hiroshi Okumura, who runs a martial arts gym in Johor Bahru vs Singaporean Mustafa Kamal. This will be a very fast pace fight at 64 kg for the BOXXTOMOI -ISKA International Belt.
–ISKA INTERNATIONAL 64KG
MUSTAFA KAMAL (SINGAPORE) PRIME FIGHTS GYM
Vs. HIROSHI OKUMURA (JAPAN) JACK GYM
Warriors of Borneo are particularly proud that 5 fighters from Sabah, Borneo will be featured in the card. Day 1 will see, 4 fighters and Day 2 , 1 fighter.
Day 1 will see 4 fighters from East Coast of Sabah , namely from Tim’s Muaythai – Tawau & 66 Unicorn – Sandakan.
Ayie from Tawau will open the event in day 1 bout 1 against Hidayat from Penang. Ayie from Tim’s Muaythai have good boxing foundation will fight Hidayat whom is a SUKMA Muaythai athlete.
Vivian Teo is a young but experienced fighter from Sandakan. She has represented Malaysia in the Muaythai University World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand in 2015 and brought back a silver medal. She faced some tough opponent before in Jihin Radzuan in her Wilayah Fight appearance in Feb this year. In April she took gold in Muay Fight Night in Kota Kinabalu and went to Melbourne for Dynamite Naksoo Female Fight Tour in June.
For this fight Vivian is preparing herself by training at Team X Fight Academy.
In bout 5, Shah ‘The Black Machine’ from Sandakan will face Singaporean Aiff Ajis. Shah is a very discipline and experience Muaythai athlete and has won numerous title. Shah most recent win was in Kota Kinabalu early this year, winning himself the D1FC Title belt against a tough Filipino warrior Robin Catalan. He then focus on his studies and recently graduated from UITM with a Sports Science degree.
He came back active in the ring in Sept in Kota Kinabalu’s Borneo Battle Arena, winning the Muaythai Super 8 trophy. In October’s he lost in Johor Open Muaythai against a veteran of more than 100 fight. Even though he got badly cut on the forehead, he still put up a strong fight which took the veteran to 5 rounds. Shah is preparing for this fight training at Monatchy MMA gym in Kuala Lumpur.
In Day 2, bout 3, in what is my personal favourite card will see Mohd Rizal of Team Karabaw, Sabah going against Muaythai posterboy, Mohammed Mahmoud aka Jordan Boy. Rizal is a relentless scrappy fighter that loves a fight. He is active in Muaythai, MMA, Kickboxing, Silat & Karate, he just loves to bang!
Jordan Boy name is well known in the Muaythai scene. Winner of numerous title belt, he has recently turn to Kickboxing, applying his Muaythai skill successfully. Jordan Boy has experience in his hands and has good kicks to keep Rizal at bay.
Both fighters will go all out and loves to entertain the crowd with fast exchanges and relentless forward momentum. A fight promoter dream match. This will be a barn burner of a fight, get ready to be entertained!
|Iskarnival K1 is sanctioned by ISKA. Master Khoo Meng Yang of ISKA checking the venue ensuring all aspect of saftey are met