Dreams can come true, says Extreme Fighter Faeez Jacobs who became the EFC 81 Bantamweight Champion of the World at the weekend.
The 23-year-old former Mitchells Plain resident managed to wipe out reigning flyweight champ, Nkazimalo Zulu at Times Square Arena in Pretoria on Saturday.
Faeez has been training for years to reach his goal and is the current Cape Metropole, Western Cape and South African Pro kickboxing champion.
Faeez previously made headlines in the Daily Voice when he revealed how he used EFC to cope with bullying at school and to build his self-esteem.
Last week Monday, Faeez and his team which includes coach, Fidaah Edries and members of Fighters INC, Fight for Fit and Cape Town Wrestling, left for Johannesburg to acclimatise.
Faeez was to fight “Zulu Boy”, 29, a fearsome fighter who surprises his opponents with wrestling grips, holds and lightning fast strikes.
Edries says Faeez outsmarted Zulu and dominated the fight to win via split decision.
The judges scored the five rounds 49-46 to Faeez, 49-46 to Zulu and 48-47 to Faeez.
After the fight, Faeez said: “I can’t even explain what I am feeling now. This is an unreal moment for me. I’m a kid from Mitchells Plain - where I come from people become gangsters and drug addicts. I became a world champion.”
The elated ring king is back home in Grassy Park with his shiny new EFC title belt.
Edries says Faeez was already a champion in the making when he met him five years ago.
“When I met him, he said he wanted to be a champion and he put in the hours. He was the guy in the gym who would arrive early and go home late.
“He always wants to do extra. I knew I had a champion.
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“For his goal to develop, I worked on a programme of coordination, balance, speed, brain exercises to make quick decisions under pressure, and strategy.”
Faeez says he literally “ate, slept and trained” in the weeks running up to the bout, and was overcome with emotion when he was announced as the champ.
“When they said my name out loud, the emotions took over, I am happy and blessed.
“I want to tell the people out there dreams can come true. Keep pushing, believe in yourself.”