BERLIN -- The stepfather of an undefeated female boxer was sentenced Monday to six years in jail for shooting her in the dressing room ahead of a title fight.
Rola El-Halabi of Germany was shot in the hand, knee and feet by the gunman, who was once her manager, before a bout with Irma Balijagic Adler of Bosnia for the vacant IBF lightweight title in Berlin.
A Berlin court said Hicham El-H. as he was identified in line with German privacy laws, deliberately shot the boxer on April 1 to "prevent her from continuing her boxing career."
Two security guards were also shot. The court said he also assaulted Rola El-Halabi's current fiance in Dec. 2010.
The 44-year-old Hicham El-H. was found guilty of two counts of grievous bodily harm with a weapon and another of attempted aggravated assault and intentional injury.
El-Halabi won the WIBF and WIBA world titles in 2009. She had an 11-0 record with six KOs.
Her injuries were not life-threatening but the 26-year-old's boxing career is still under peril.
The judge said that the defendant was unable to deal with his stepdaughter living her own life, according to the dapd news agency. When she began a relationship with her finance, it was as if his "daughter slipped out of his hands."
The judge added that the gunman's idea to leave his stepdaughter a cripple looked "planned for months" and the stepfather considered himself "the maker of a world champion."
El-Halabi fought back tears as she heard the verdict.
"It is the penance for a cowardly act," said her lawyer, Manfred Gnjidic.
Bild newspaper reported that El-Halabi split from her stepfather as a manager in January.
"Papa rushed into the room," El-Halabi told the newspaper at the time of the shooting. "He threatened us with a gun in his hand and shouted 'Everyone out!' And then he shot me in the hand from three meters. I cried and screamed."
El-Halabi said her relationship with her stepfather deteriorated when she met her fiance.
"When I had problems I could talk with him about anything, except when it was about boys," El-Halabi said. "That was taboo."