Hussen Ishaish is one of those names that seems to have been around for ages, but Jordan’s leading boxer is still only 24.
The man with the golden gloves made a name for himself by reaching the Super Heavyweight quarter-finals of the 2016 Rio Olympics, only losing on the judges’ call to the eventual gold medallist.
With Tokyo 2020 now only eight months away, we caught up with Hussein in the latest of our series.
When did you start Boxing, and why?
It was in 2009 when I started this sport. I chose it because it was in my DNA, the whole family boxes. I started with my Uncle Mohammad Ishaish who thankfully turned me into the guy I am today.
When was your first ever overseas participation?
Back in 2013. It was the World Junior Championships in Armenia. At that time I finished fifth in my weight. It was an astonishing feeling to represent my country in such an event. The World Championships motivated me to come back even stronger.
How was Rio 2016?
I won the first fight over the Romania boxer, and then I faced France’s world champion, Tony Luca, who won the gold later. I was satisfied with my performance in the Olympics, but sad that I didn’t make it on podium because I thought I did enough to win against Tony. But I made a promise that I will back at Tokyo and this time I will be ready to win a medal.
What are your biggest recent achievements?
It was the Asian bronze last month in Thailand, which is the third medal in a row at this level. Also, I also reached the quarter-finals in the World Championships in Russia after winning two fights. I am still young and learning and I will keep grafting for the medals.
What about Tokyo 2020?
We have been training hard under the directions of our Ukrainian Coach, Andrea, who believes that we can qualify a number of boxers to Tokyo. As boxers, each one of us will fight for our lives to secure a place. For me, I want to be on that podium as I promised myself before, and I will make sure I am unstoppable.