By Anthony Cocks
Australian lightweight prospect Qamil Balla has got pedigree. The affable kid from Melbourne’s western suburbs counts his father Nuri, a former Victorian champion, and uncle Mitat, a former Australian champion, amongst his bloodstock.
Balla compiled an enviable record of 62 wins from 70 amateur bouts, representing Australia internationally including at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India. An opportunity to represent his country at the 2012 Olympics in London was derailed when future WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn got the better of him. The fight was a rematch of Balla’s victory over Horn three years earlier at the qualification tournament for the 2009 World Championships.
In the punch-for-pay ranks Balla has an almost unblemished record. In 2013 Balla claimed the Australian junior welterweight title with a clear-cut 10-round points decision over highly-regarded Jack Brubaker. In his following fight he successfully defended his crown against Terry Tzouramanis, dropping the rugged campaigner in the third en route to a wide points win. The only boxer to get the better of Balla in the pro ranks is world-rated George Kambosos, who outpointed Balla over 10-rounds in May 2017.
Pull on the gloves and chuck in the mouthguard, we’re about to go 15 rounds with Qamil Balla.
1. What attracted you to boxing in the first place?
BALLA: Fate. Dad and uncle were boxers, couldn’t really fight it (ba dum tshh).
2. Toughest fight in the amateurs or pros?
BALLA: Always been my own toughest fight, couldn’t honestly pick one.
3. Biggest puncher you’ve faced?
BALLA: It’s boxing, getting punched is never good, so I don’t know; think the guy hit me so hard I can’t remember.
4. What are the best and worst things about being a boxer?
BALLA: Best thing about being a boxer is the confidence it gives you, putting yourself to the test. Worst thing about boxing is high risk it entails which makes the gamble of victory even sweeter rather than let’s say, oh, winning a power walking meet.
5. What is your most defining win of your career?
BALLA: Still hasn’t happened yet.
6. What are your goals for the next 12 months?
BALLA: Just be active, keep my head down focused on training, which will hopefully lead to bigger and better fights.
7. What are some your hobbies away from the ring?
BALLA: I’m a bit of a history buff, love listening to Dan Carlin. “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Don’t plan on being one of the doomed.
8. Who is always ringside for you fights?
BALLA: My dad, uncle and brothers.
9. Who has been biggest influence on your career?
BALLA: My two brothers Ibi and Suf, boxing is such a lonely sport having them there to help me throughout my career is a godsend.
10. What fight have you learnt the most from?
BALLA: Couldn’t say, I know I pick up little things from most fights, but I couldn’t say one fight definitively taught me more than another.
11. What is something our readers would be surprised to learn about you?
BALLA: I think I’m funny :)
12. Do you have any superstitions or rituals you follow in the lead-up to fight night?
BALLA: Nope, just feel good, fight good.
13. What is your favourite post-fight feed?
BALLA: I have a massive sweet tooth, so I get right into my cakes. Red velvet is one for sure and if haven’t heard of Znoud el Sit, then you’re missing out.
14. Where would we find you when you’re away from the gym?
BALLA: Going on adventures with my wife and kids hopefully camping.
15. If you weren’t boxing, what would you be doing?
BALLA: Now that’s the million-dollar question. Don’t know what I’d be doing, but I know I’d be awesome at it.