Rola El-Halabi’s day in court.
Rola El-Halabi (11-0, 6-KOs) is 26 years old and had a full career ahead of her as an elite female professional fighter before her stepfather shot her in the hand, knee and foot in her dressing room prior to her fight against Irma Balijagic Adler of Bosnia for the vacant IBF lightweight title this past April.
El-Halabi, originally from Lebanon was the pride of Ulm, Germany when she defeated American fighter Mia St. John for the WIBA and WIBF Women’s Lightweight Titles in March of 2010. She subsequently returned her titles due to a domestic situation and had been away from the ring for a year.
Her promising career also ran afoul of her stepfather’s sense of honor which eventually led her to fire him as her manager back in January. He had allegedly vowed to put her in a wheelchair — and nearly did, though her tenacity and has seen her to face her attacker in a German court.
The showdown with her stepfather has led to a guilty verdict and a nearly seven-year sentence in prison.
While one speculates that this is vindication for the horrific attack against Rola El-Halabi, the fact remains the injuries she sustained have left their mark and she will likely never enter the ring again.
Stephen Brown over at Frontpagemag.com has a terrific piece entitled Unfair ‘Honor Crime’ Fight in Berlin that is well worth the read.
AP story published in Washington Post here.
UK Guardian story here.