PUNCHING FOR POPULARITY
Boxers aim for Games success to get more people involved
FABIAN PETER firstname.lastname@example.org but feels that more competitions and training overseas are needed to go far in the sport.
“We are still far behind some of our neighbouring countries but it is only because we do not have much exposure.
“And to have overseas exposure, we need a bigger budget. However, before we can request for a bigger budget, we need the sport to be popular, and that is why it is necessary for our boxers to prove themselves at the Sea Games,” said Rahman who only joined the Malaysian Boxing Federation (MBF) this year.
On Malaysia’s chances at KL2017 after the boxers did not win any medal in Singapore two years ago, Rahman said: “It’s a tall order, but the federation is targeting one gold medal at least.
“We are not revealing any names, because we don’t want our plans to backfire.
“All I can say is the boys have been training hard and we can only hope for them to have good fights at the Games.
“The other thing we can bank on is home support. Since we are hosting the Games, that might boost the confidence of our boxers to go further.”
Malaysia’s best ever achievement was at the 2009 Games in Laos, where they bagged two gold medals through Mohd Farkhan Haron and Mohd Fairuz Azwan.
In 2013, Malaysia managed to get one bronze through Mohd Fuad Redzuan in the light flyweight category.
Fuad, one of the senior boxers in the squad, also did well to win a gold this year at the Almaty Boxing Open Championships in Kazakhstan.
Two other boxers competing in the Games are Khir Akyazlan Azmi and Abdul Salam Kasim who settled for bronze in Almaty.
“We have been doing our homework together with the support of the NSI (National Sports Institute) and the NSC (National Sports Council). Hopefully we get to do well and raise the standard of boxing in Malaysia,” added Rahman.
Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin with the national boxing squad at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) at Jalan Duta on Tuesday.