It was an important occasion for Singapore boxer Danial Jalil in more ways than one last Sunday. Not only was he competing in a national boxing competition organised by the Singapore Amateur Boxing Association, he had plans to pop the question to his girlfriend.
After his bout at the Bedok Sports Hall, in which he bagged the win in the Elite Lightweight (60kg) division, the 27-year-old got down on one bent knee to Issy Birkia, his girlfriend of three years amid plenty of cheers. Watch the video below:
Jalili, who represents Kadir’s Boxing School and is also a coach at the UFC Gym in Singapore, shares with us.
On why he popped the question then
“I had planned it since December last year, knowing that I had a national competition coming up, which is a big thing for the Singapore amateur boxing scene.
“The reason why I decided to propose after my fight was because I wanted it to be meaningful. In a sense, I wasn’t just fighting for my sport in the national team, but I was also fighting to make my proposal more meaningful if I should win.
It definitely created more pressure for me! It also pushed me to want to win and perform well during the competition. I guess you can call it killing two birds with one stone (laughs).”
On their love story
“We have been together for almost three and a half years. I met her after winning one of my competitions – I was introduced to her by a female friend (who’s also a boxer). I asked my friend if she could approach Issy on my behalf but Issy told my friend that I wanted to get to know her, I should talk to her myself. It took me quite a while to gather enough guts haha.”
A sweet surprise
We also spoke to Issy, who recalls:
“I didn’t expect the proposal to happen on that day but I knew it was happening around the end of March,” she shares. “So when the organiser made the announcement to invite ‘a special lady’ into the ring, I thought he’d made a mistake… Until one of Danial’s friends asked me to step into the ring.
I was like, “No?! Whyyy!” So anyway, I’m not too fond of too much attention on me. I was so nervous & shaky! But I also truly appreciate Danial’s genuine gesture in the way he proposed as he was doing it surrounded by the the things/people he loved. So yes! I am so happy & I hope he’s happy too.”
Congrats to the happy couple!
Images courtesy of Danial Jalil.