The Iranian Hulk‘s boxing debut didn’t quite go as he had planned, as the giant social media sensation was easily beaten in the ring by a fellow behemoth – The Kazakh Titan – in Dubai on Sunday.
The Hulk, whose real name is Sajad Gharibi, has long been teasing a run in combat sports and had been frequently linked to a fight with fellow strongman, Englishman Martyn Ford, but after that fight fell apart on several different occasions he instead took on a similarly-sized (but significantly less well-known) opponent in Djumanov Almat Bakhytovich.
But, judging by the video footage at least, the Hulk may live to regret that decision. Hulk’s lack of in-ring experience was evident, as he was pummelled by his Kazakh foe – who reports say has had some combat sports experience in the past.
It showed. Gharibi had no answer to the Kazakh Titan’s onslaught, even turning his back and appearing to walk away at one point – a retreat which prompted the referee to give him a moment to compose himself.
Once the bout was back on, the pair’s combined lack of boxing acumen showed as the flailed wild haymakers which prompted them to lose balance and trip over one another as they looked to land a home-run shot.
The Hulk’s massive frame was clearly a hindrance as he looked to have emptied his gas tank before the conclusion of the first round – and was eventually put down with a crunching right hook after which the referee put both men, and those watching in the arena, out of their collective misery.
Afterwards, the Iranian Hulk offered an apology for his performance in the ring.
“I have nothing to say but I am ashamed and I apologize to the Iranian people,” he said.
His coach also commented on Gharibi’s performance, saying that they had just two weeks to prepare for his debut fight.
“Thank you for your good and bad messages,” he said, as noted by The Mirror.
“I just wanted to five a brief explanation about the fight. The fight was set before Sajad came to me and he signed the contract. There was no way to cancel it unless he paid a big fine for the cancellation.
“We had a bad situation. Sajad came to Tehran for his training [but] we had a financial problem, the sponsor didn’t keep their word. In short, Sajad trained with me for only two weeks and I told him he was not ready to fight. But I had to be with him because he had to fight and somebody had to coach him.”
But judging by what we saw on Sunday in the Middle East, it seems as though the Iranian Hulk’s boxing career might well have been doomed from the start.