Fight for Peace is the home of champions, and each year we are lucky to witness the outstanding achievements of all our young members, whether inside the gym or in other areas of their lives.

One of the many ways we celebrate these wins is by awarding our boxing and muay thai Memorial Trophies to the most outstanding athletes who have most embodied one or more of our values – Embracing, Solidarity, Champion, Inspiring and Courage throughout the year. 

Fight for Peace boxer, Mahli was titled the winner of the Sam Bezzina Memorial Trophy, in memory of our Head Boxing Coach, Sam who we sadly lost in 2020. While muay thai athlete, Roberto was awarded the Ricardo Có Memorial Trophy, carrying the name of inspiring muay thai athlete who we also lost. These trophies are very close to our hearts, and we are grateful to be able to keep Sam and Ricardo’s legacies alive in this way. 

We checked in with both of the champs to find out how they feel about their victories, and what their hopes are for moving forward. 

“Honestly, it’s a great feeling having everyone cheering for you and I was exhilarated when I received the reward and quite surprised as there are so many [of the team] who put in so much work as well as me, so I’m just grateful to be honest,” shared boxer, Mahli.

Mahli posing with Coaches, Emmanuel, Kenny, Michael and Nathaniel

“My plans for 2024 is to work harder, hopefully go to London and the National Championships, win, and come back with a trophy and also try to win boxer of the year again.”

We have no doubt in Mahli’s ability to achieve these goals, having seen how much he has progressed in his boxing journey over the past year, showcasing his skills at several bouts, including our home boxing show in November. Head Boxing Coach, Emmanuel, shared some praise, and why Mahli is so deserving of the 2023 title.

Mahli celebrating his Fight for Peace home show win, November 2023
Photo: 99CLIQS

“Mahli really deserved the trophy. He has worked really hard the past year and showed exceptional qualities. He is selfless, a motivator, a youth that’s eager to learn and always willing to give a helping hand to the coaching team and his fellow boxers. Mahli is humble, cheerful and always up for a laugh.”

Of course, as well as being brilliant athletes, it fills us with pride that so many of our members share our values, which are so important to us, such as inspiring other teammates through consistency and willingness to support one another.

Over in the muay thai corner, Head Coach, Star recognised Memorial Trophy winner, Roberto for his ‘warrior mindset’ and ‘warrior heart’.

Roberto posing with Coaches Star and Tomas

Following a big year of interclub competitions, Roberto shared, “when I received the award, I couldn’t stop smiling and cheesing to be honest.” 

“It took me by surprise, and hearing the words from. Kru Star and Coach Tomas really made me feel like all the hard work I put in was well worth it,” he explained.

“My training goals for 2024 are definitely to train twice a day, six days a week. It is a hard task with having to work during the day, but that’s what sacrifices are for. I want to compete as much as I possibly can this year. A big thank you to the Academy for providing us with great sessions and support!”

Roberto and coaches Star and Tomas mid-bout at our home muay thai interclub, June 2023

Coach Tomas, a former Fight for Peace athlete, and Memorial Trophy winner 2021 shared some words of encouragement post-session. “Roberto always goes out of his way to help others, he is selfless, he thinks about creative ways how to improve and how to help.”

“He leaves the ego outside of the door when he comes into the gym, and he just gains and gains. I’m excited to see what the future holds for him,” Coach Tomas continued.

We are sure that the future is bright for these two young champions, and we can’t wait to see what these gains have in store. A massive well done, and congratulations to Roberto and Mahli! Thank you to everybody who voted, and to our coaches for their ongoing support, encouragement and dedication to supporting young athletes. Until next time!

Our Sam Bezzina and Ricardo Có Memorial Trophies are proudly displayed in the Fight for Peace gym, and are engraved with the winners’ names each year, along with their photographs. Be sure to come through and check them out!

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