Boxer Hussein Ishaiash is just one fight away from becoming the first ever Jordanian to win an Olympic medal, but the man in his path is a World Champion.
Ishaiash won a dramatic last 16 fight on Saturday by a split decision, and his reward is a quarter final clash with Frenchman Tony Yoka, the reigning world champion in the super heavyweight division.
Ishaiash, 21, is relatively small for the category and will be giving away 20cm in height and nearly 10kg in weight to the giant Frenchman who is the favourite for gold in Rio de Janeiro.
“I have nothing to lose,” said Ishaiash, whose courageous performance on Saturday was praised by HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, the President of the Jordan Olympic Committee. “Like my last fight, I will give everything I have and leave nothing behind. I have only one chance at this and will do my very best for my country.
“I have had amazing support from Jordan over the past few days which I can’t thank everyone enough for. It has been really special and I want to win this next fight for all of those people who have believed in me and got behind me.”
The fight will take place in the Rio Centre 6 venue at around 12.45pm local time which is 6.45pm Jordan time.
Yoka is a giant of the division and stands at 200cm tall and weighed in at 105kg for his previous fight. In comparison, Ishaiash weighed in at 96kg and stands at 180cm tall.
But the coaching team also see that as an advantage with Ishaiash’s speed and movement key assets.
The winner will be through to the semi-finals, guaranteeing a bronze medal.