The central square of Marrakech has played host to markets, spectacles and forms of entertainment for many hundreds of years, and in the red city today, very little has changed. For a short stroll through Jemaa el-Fnaa could lead you to encounter anything from a Berber snake charmer to a boxing match.
Indeed if you journey to the very centre of the square you will find Hassan Kata, a boxing pioneer who has been active in Marrakech since the 1980′s and has become something of a local celebrity in the red city.
Hassan organises a boxing ring of spectators in the square, encouraging volunteers from the crowd to try their hand at the sport, supplying them with boxing gloves and acting as the resident referee. Spars only take place after the third daily prayer and last a maximum of fifteen minutes, which he spends mediating and rallying the crowds of Jemaa el-Fnaa behind the boxers.
Nobody walks away from the ring injured as Hassan Kata’s matches are not the real thing, but rather a spectacle that celebrates the sport of boxing, which which has a long and illustrious history in Morocco.
Explore the ancient central square of Marrakech for yourself through the luxury and convenience of a Hotel Riad in the centre of the red city.