|Kaddour, 29 of Belleville, is regarded as one of the most powerful fighters in his weight class and is known for his devastatng body shots.|
Following his late 2004 appearance, Kaddour caught the eyes of several top promoters and before he knew it, he was on the fast track to stardom, training in Los Angeles and preparing to hit the big time.
But Kaddour suddenly found himself caught in the grip of promoters who seemed to care more about their bottom line than his well being.
"I felt like there were a lot of fake people who were just using me as a package, everything just felt fake about them," he said.
Kaddour found at least one true friend during his time in Los Angeles and later Las Vegas, however: Hollywood star and former manager Sylvester Stallone of the "Rocky" movies, with whom he is still in contact.
Despite the support of Stallone and a handful of others he could trust, however, Kaddour quickly felt out of place.
The Lebanese American middleweight, who was born in Beirut before later beginning his career in Denmark after his family fled due to war in 1982, needed a break and time to catch up with family overseas in Europe.
|Kaddour (C) with friends, grew up in Denmark after being born in Beirut. He said he is proud to have the support of the Arab and Lebanese communities behind him as he continues to fight professionally.|
Now 29 years old and preparing for his second fight of 2011 in a catchweight matchup with Vance Garvey at Motor City Casino on Oct. 6, Kaddour has regained his peace of mind thanks to his decision to move to the metro Detroit area, turning over a new leaf and rekindling a promising career.
"I wanted a place to call home, and that's why I moved to Michigan four months ago," Kaddour said. He chose the area having visited first so he could be among the Arab American community and within reach of the Detroit area's top-notch boxing trainers.
"I came here mainly for the Arab support...so far it's been great, everything from the food to the community; everybody's been supporting me."
Kaddour, who lives in Belleville and trains at the Detroit Boxing Jungle complex, a gritty, old school gym off Greenfield Road on the border of Dearborn, says he's more focused and hungry than ever.
"I've got a Master's in Mechanical Engineering, I can always get a job, but I'm hungry for this, I'm hungrier than a lion," he said. "Whoever's in my way better stand to the side."
Kaddour has found himself a new trainer in Greg Coverson, who trained former featherweight champ Tom "Boom Boom Johnson" and contender Courtney Hooper in the past.
So far, Kaddour, who trains twice a day and rests on Sundays, has noticed serious improvements.
"I've had many trainers in my life but Greg, after beginning with him two months ago, he just gets the best out of me, I feel different as a fighter but in a good way."
Coverson had high praise for his latest student.
"He can do it all," he said of Kaddour. "The main thing with Ahmed is we're getting him to the point where he can make the fight his fight," he said.
Kaddour, nicknamed "Babyface," has a chance to become one of the elite in the sport as many thought he could be after he showed the world his talents on The Contender, according to Coverson.
|Nicknamed “Babyface,” Kaddour fought on the popular reality TV show “The Contender” before taking a break and then coming back in 2009. Photos courtesy of Ahmed Kaddour|
"When you look at the overall picture you've got guys like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, guys like that who have the total package...Ahmed is one of the most exciting guys to come along in a while, he's got the potential to become a great fighter; he's one of the upcoming stars," he said.
Kaddour is a power puncher with some of the best body shots in the division, which are capable of stunning opponents and make for unpleasant training sessions for his partners in Detroit.
He's got a long road back after the hiatus, however, which he ended in December 2009 with a win in Denmark and continued with wins in early 2010 and 2011 in the U.S. to push his record to 23-2.
But with a pedigree that includes five Danish championships, two Scandinavian championships, and a 91-1 amateur record, before turning pro at age 17, Kaddour feels confident going forward.
Todd Awada, who now manages Kaddour through Awada Management along with Phil Awada, has the same high expectations for Kaddour and believes that he can feed off the support from the Arab American and Lebanese American communities. It's part of what drives Kaddour each day.
"He's fighting for the Lebanese American community, to show them they've got what it takes to be the best, he wants to be just like Manny Pacquaio, how he has such strong support of the Filipino community," he said.
"Since Prince Naseem Hamed, there hasn't really been a boxer that the Middle Eastern community can get behind like that."
Awada said that potential fights on pay-per-view cards or on Showtime have been discussed for Kaddour already and he hopes to land Kaddour more fights in November and/or December.
Kaddour said he's already felt re-energized by the support of the local community and looks forward to making another run to the top.
"It already feels like home to me...whatever happens here, we all stick together, and the news of the fights goes all the way back to the Middle East," he said.
There's one person that motivates Kaddour more than anyone else, however.
"I want to dedicate this upcoming fight to my son, Jordan Jr.," he said. "I love him more than anything and everything I do is because of him."
Tickets for the Oct. 6 fight are available through Ticketmaster or by calling the Greenfield Sports Center at 313.581.6690.