Moroccan super featherweight Moussa Gholam (20-1, 12 KOs) will headline “Rising Stars Arabia: The Revolution,” promoted by AAM Seddiqi Sports and sponsored by the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), on January 13th at Yas Links Golf Course in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The Rising Stars Arabia (RSA) series is the first of its kind in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, providing a platform to showcase the best of Arab boxing talent to international and regional audiences.

Sanctioned by the Middle East Professional Boxing Commission, “Rising Star Arabia: The Revolution” will be streamed live on DAZN and ESPN Knockout, as well as broadcast on Abu Dhabi Sports TV, starting at 8 p.m. UAEST (11 a.m. EST and 8 a.m. PST).

“2024 will be a significant year for Rising Stars Arabia,” promoter Ahmed Seddiqi said. “It’s the second edition of the series and we are thrilled to have world-class boxer Moussa Gholam perform globally on DAZN and ESPN KO. We’re also excited about other exceptional talents such as UAE national Fahad Ali Baloushi, Bader Samreen and the extraordinary talent from Iraq, Amer Kadhum Ghaneem.

“My hope is for Moroccans to come support their fighter, Emiratis to back their warrior, and all other Arab nationals on the card to have their supporters and fanbase present live on January 13th at Yas Links Abu Dhabi. None of this would have been possible without our partners from the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi and our broadcasting partners, DAZN and ESPN Knockout.”

Gholam, who was rated No. 14 by the World Boxing Council WBC) at the time, was originally scheduled to headline the inaugural “Rising Stars Arabia” event this past September 9th. However, he was forced to withdraw due to an injury suffered during training camp, but he returns eager to establish himself as the future of Arab boxing in his Middle East debut fight.

The 28-year-old Gholam will take on South African “Baby” Lunga Sitemela (15-1, 9 KOs) in the 10-round main event. Gholam is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental and WBC Youth Silver Super Featherweight Champion. Sitemela is a former South African Super Featherweight Champion.

The 10-round co-featured event pits hometown favorite Fahad “Kid Emirati” Al Bloushi (12-1, 2 KOs) against veteran Milner Marcano (24-12, 20 KOs), of Argentina. Al Bloushi, the pride of UAE, has won his last 11 fights in a row.

A Special Lightweight Attraction features red-hot Bader “The Master” Samreen (9-0, 8 KOs), the first professional boxer from Jordan, against the United Kingdom’s Jeff Ofori (13-5-2, 4 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Samreen, 23, captured a bronze medal as an amateur at the 2018 AIBA Youth World Championships. He turned pro in 2021 and moved to Dubai to enhance his boxing career.  

Opening the streaming segment of the evening is one of the best kept secrets in boxing, Syria’s undefeated cruiserweight force Mohammed “The Destroyer” Bekdash (26-0, 23 KOs), in an eight-round match versus Shaban Hamadi Jongo (11-3-2, 10 KOs), of Tanzania. Devastating puncher Bekdash is riding a 14-fight knockout streak dating back to 2015, while the dangerous Jongo is a former Tanzania Cruiserweight Champion.

Fighting on the undercard in six-round matches are Iraq light heavyweight Amer Kadhum Ghaneem (2-0, 1 KO) vs. Marcela German Rodriguez (0-1), of Argentina, and Jordan’s Hisham Osama Majed Elsimreen (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Riva Kundimang (9-7-2, 5 KOs), of Indonesia, at a 152-pound catchweight.

Also scheduled to be in action, all in four-rounders, are Moroccan Anas Hafiane (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Uganda’s Batamazee Iddi (0-1) at a 143-pound catchweight, Saudi Arabian super lightweight Sulaiman Abbar (1-0, 0 KOs) vs. Salum Omari (1-2 (0 KOs), of Tanzania, and UAE middleweight Fahad Alkhoori (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. Pakistan’s Shahzada Sohail (0-3).