Feroz Moideen, General Manager, Hyatt Plaza, Ali Al Marafia, Founder and Chairman, QPW, Carlito Wrestler, Bilal Taha, event consultant QPW, Hussin Farhan, Manager of Big V, and Alofa with QPW belt during the Press conference at Hyatt Plaza yesterday. Abdul Basit
By AZMAT HAROON
Doha: The Qatar Pro Wrestling (QPW) will soon launch an exclusive gym to train Arab wrestling enthusiasts.
The facility, in its second phase of planning, will train many Qataris and Arabs to become professional wrestlers, a senior official of QPW said yesterday.
“At the moment we don’t have Qatari professional wrestlers and that’s because it’s a new business here. But the next step of QPW is to have a wrestling gym for all Arabs to get training to become pro-wrestlers,” Ali Al Marafia, the Founder and Chairman of QPW, said.
He was speaking at the launch of the QPW World Championship that will be held in the first week of October in Doha. The three-day championship will feature many famous international wrestlers.
Although Qatar is home to a large fan-base of sport wrestling, due to a lack of support, organising such events here is difficult.
“There are always challenges such as the selection of venue, safety and security, marketing and promotion, and ultimately financial issues. It’s very difficult to work with government institutions in such cases because the process is usually slow,” said Bilal Taha, who previously organized the Middle-East’s first WWE event in Qatar.
He said the WWE event in Qatar cost him about $1.1m. “I didn’t make much money out of the first event and the QPW championship now is also more of an investment that aims to promote the sport here.”
Taha said with the opening of the facility, the organisation will also be able to hunt wrestling talent in the country.
“Maybe, there are Qatari wrestlers we don’t know about. This gym would be the contact point for many of them.”
Carlos Edwin Colón, popularly known by his ring-name Carlito, who was in Doha for the launch of the QPW Championship, said that becoming a professional wrestler was not an easy task.
“It’s very easy to be a wrestler but to be successful at it is something entirely different,” said Colón, who has worked with World Wrestling Council (WWC), WWE and RAW.
Asked about violence and blood in some matches, he said: “Wrestling is about entertaining people. After people see my match, I think they should feel like they saw something good.