25 February 2012

Indonesian Boxers Must Go Amateur First

Chris John, currently the only Indonesian boxer who hold the world title, has just been awarded the Asian best boxer. His great success has given a shed of light while, to larger extent, Indonesian boxing is in negative phases. However, Chris' achievement is more likely individual, not showing the massive success nationwide. At international level Indonesia has been more inferior nation in boxing. The development is stuck and the direction is uncertain. It is a very funny fact because Indonesian people like boxing. This sport ranks high, only below football and badminton as the most favorite sports to watch. In the era of Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chaves, or Oscar De La Hoya, boxing live matches on television had a high rating. Not only as a show, boxing also used to pitch Indonesia as one of countries with talented boxers, especially at amateur level. But now it is all likely gone with the wind. There is always Chris John at any direction and always. This is how I call it individual, rather than communal success. Chris John has tended to self-help instead of to be the product of an established developmental output.

ONE OF A KIND: Not many boxers do Chris John can do

This fact raises a question: What is going to happen to Indonesian boxing post-Chris John's era? For soon or late his career must given in, Indonesia needs to find other candidates to keep the boxing flag standing still. In fact, there have been several boxers who followed Chris' step but eventually they were unable to compete longer at international competition.

One of factors will be poor preparation. Most Indonesian boxers today enter the professional career without being amateur athletes. For most world boxing legends were once amateurs, the current situation of the Indonesian boxing is not a good example. People can not always date back to The Chris John's past times as a Wushu athlete. To be a good athlete, one must get all knowledge on the sport he/she plays. In other words, one can not be a good professional if he/she does not dare to be good amateurs. Professionalism must come from amateurism. It also applies to boxing.

Professional life is a sweet temptation, which drives every boxer mad and crazy about dollars it offers. In case of Indonesia, this phenomenon often makes prospective boxers leave the very basic foundation of boxing. They only know how to punch the opponents on the rings, while lacking fundamental techniques where they should have learned from the amateur level. Chris John, like Mike Tyson, is another case in Boxing. 'The Dragon' and 'The Iron Man' are world champions who overlapped the amateur phase but they do not have many fellows in common worldwide. Let them be called 'born to box' or 'born to be champions', and anyone who is obsessed by them should not completely imitate their fates and ideas. Instead, one must past the primary examination like Ali, the Klitchkos, Holyfield, Lewis, and other boxing legends have done: learning to box from scratch as innocent amateurs.

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