As Thursday Night Fight Nights arrive in the emirate bringing live professional boxing back to the city, we take a look at some of the best places to don gloves and square up around town.
Boxing is a great way to work out, burn calories and relieve stress. What’s more, you don’t have to be the next Nicola Adams or Manny Pacquiáo to get in the ring. With Dubai’s gyms full of boxing-themed classes to help you get involved, the city’s appetite for the sport is growing. Launching this week, a new monthly event Thursday Night Fight Nights at Emirates Golf Club, will bring big-name fighters such as former IBF world heavyweight champion Francois Botha to the emirate to inspire people to take up the sport. Want in? Here’s where you can get a piece of the action around town.
Take your sparring outside with a Fit Boxing cardio class. The sessions here involve work on the pads, in the ring, and with a professional boxing coach. The gym’s Fit Boxing HITT classes give you a full-body workout in one hour. Small class numbers keep sessions attentive as you hit the pads.
Dhs60 per class for non-members, Dhs50 per class for members. Daily except Friday. 7am-10pm. Multiclub, Al Shatha Tower, Dubai Media City, www.multiclub.ae (04 452 3388).
Fit Boys Gym
Owned by local boxer Milad Saadati, Fit Boys Gym is a dedicated boxing and martial arts centre with a crew of professional boxers to help you get fighting fit. You don’t have to be competing to train here, but there is a full-size ring and plenty of equipment to ensure you develop your boxing technique. Despite its name, the gym is open to girls, too.
Dhs60 per class. Daily. 6.30am-8pm. Fit Boys Gym JLT, Red Diamond Building, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, www.fitboysgym.com (04 434 3661).
Founded by the UAE’s first ever professional boxer, Eisa Al Dah, EMD covers the whole spectrum of boxing, from technique to fitness and footwork. Classes incorporate cardio work and technical sessions. The gym also has a boxing programme for kids aged six-15.
Dhs100 per session, free for members. Sun-Thu 6pm-7pm, 7pm-8pm. EMD Fitness, Sunset Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.emdfitness.com (04 338 4001).
Round 10 Boxing Club
Work on your jab at a Round 10 session, an innovative group class using 24 heavy boxing bags suspended from the ceiling. The class works punches, drills and also includes a kettlebell segment. The gym caters to fighters who want to perfect their punch.
Dhs100 per class, boxing technique Dhs50. Sat-Thu. 5.30am-7.30pm. Round 10 Boxing Club, Al Quoz, www.round10boxing.com (04 338 0101).
Dubai Martial ArtsAcademy
Boxing enthusiasts can train, spar and have dietary consultations here. The gym is open to all abilities and if your kid is shaping up to be the next Amir Khan, you can sign them up for group and individual sessions.
Dhs70 group class. Dhs300 professional training. Sun-Thu 6pm. Dubai Martial Arts Academy,
Al Barsha 1, www.fightacademy.ae (04 420 7902).
Professional boxer and owner of Fit Boys Gym Milad Saadati laces up his gloves ahead of his cruiserweight fight at the May Day boxing event at Emirates Golf Club.
How are you feeling about the fight?
I feel good. I was waiting for this kind of opportunity. I stopped boxing two years ago due to a leg injury, so I created a gym in JLT and now I’ve decided to return to the ring.
How have you been preparing?
I’ve been training with Roy Gumbs, he’s a British former champion. He’s been in Dubai for four months helping me train. I didn’t train for two years because of my injuries but now I feel good and I’m running and training several days a week. I’ve been training with some of the other fighters on the bill too, so I’m feeling very confident.
What makes boxing so interesting to watch?
It’s an amazing event. Boxing is really the purest sport in the world. It’s not only about beating each other – you have to be smart, know when to defend, when to attack, train hard and keep focussed. It’s a complete sport.
On May 1, there will be a women’s fight between Lise Knutsen and Sandra Azizi. Do you get a lot of women boxing in your gym?
Yes and they love it. We actually have more women in the gym than men. You see results very quickly. In a one-hour 20-minute session you burn 1,200 calories – you don’t get that with every sport.
Thursday Night Fight Nights, Thursday May 1. Dhs200 general admission seated, Dhs150 general admission standing. 6pm. Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Hills.