Six members of the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) seven-man team returned yesterday from Chicago, United States of America (USA) where they participated in the World Amateur Boxing championships.
Boxers, Clive Atwell, Markember Pierre and Hendrick Pelswijk and coaches Clifton Moore and Seibert Blake along with President of the GABA Affeeze Khan touched down yesterday morning at the Dr Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
The seventh person, Coach Terrence Poole, was given permission by the GABA to spend a couple of days in New York with his family, Khan told Stabroek Sport yesterday.
Speaking of the tournament Khan said it was the first time in 26 years that Guyana was participating at the World Championships and the locals were matched against the best boxers in the world.
He described the Guyana team’s performance as “excellent in comparison with the other Caribbean boxers.”
Never-the-less, Khan is calling for radical changes to be made in the administration of the sport if Guyana’s boxers are to participate and win at the World Championship level and he said he will soon institute programmes aimed at taking GABA “where we want to go.”
Khan said generally the boxers fell down in their knowledge of the sport and in their physical preparation.
Guyana, was far behind in terms of knowledge of the sport, Khan declared, adding that for future tournaments…”emphasis must be placed on strength, speed and skills.
“You have to be strong. The physical development of the 16 and 17-year-old boxers at the championships were beyond expectations,” Khan said.
“Strength, speed, stamina are the foundation of amateur boxing. It was not there.
“They emphasise weight training and a lot of squatting. Our boxers don’t do that.”
Khan said apart from strength and speed, local boxers needed to be more aggressive.
He said another weakness was that local boxers did not possess the “killer instinct,” adding that Guyana’s boxers were using professional skills in what was clearly an amateur tournament judged by amateur rules.
The previously controversial computer scoring system used to judge amateur bouts “was much better now under the new AIBA guidelines,” said Khan.
The scoring system was very, very fair. There were two rings and eight screens set up and one could see how the bouts were being scored,” Khan explained.
But, he pointed out that the local boxers were aiming their punches mainly to the body while for the other countries, the head was the preferred target.
NEW CONSTITUTION APPROVED
Khan, who was Guyana’s representative at the AIBA Congress, said Guyana was asked to support the new constitution of president Dr C. K. Wu.
The constitution was passed with only one country voting against and one abstaining, he said adding that a resolution was also passed to change the logo of AIBA.
Khan feels that there is a need to standardize the training methods of amateur boxers in gyms throughout Guyana and plans to implement a special training programme which the Simon Pures must adhere to.
“There must be a complete training programme designed for the coaches to use. The programme has to be standardized to be used in all the respective gyms in Guyana,” he said.
Khan said at present each gym has its own training methods and he feels there is too much glove work as opposed to more contact training.
Khan said despite the fact that there were over 700 boxers from over 120 countries, he observed that all the events started on time on a daily basis.
Khan was not afraid to blow his own trumpet and proudly declared: “Our boxers and coaches were the most disciplined in the tournament.”
He said while most of the other boxers were snobbish, our boxers were polite.”
He was also not averse to giving thanks where he felt it was due.
“The GABA would like to thank the US Embassy for facilitating us with the necessary visas to allow us to participate in the championships,” he said.
Khan said it would be remiss of him if he did not thank the following companies: NAMILCO, De Sinco, Bounty Farm, Banks DIH, Two Brothers Gas Station, ANSA McAL, Len’s Variety Store, Scotia Bank, the Guyana Defence Force, the media and the following persons David De Caires, Paul Chan A Sue, Dr. Frank Anthony, Kurshid Sattaur, Dr Reddy, and others who contributed in any way to Guyana’s participation at the World Championships.