PUNCH­ING FOR POP­U­LAR­ITY

Box­ers aim for Games suc­cess to get more peo­ple in­volved

New Straits Times - - Sport -

FABIAN PE­TER fabian.mark@nst.com.my 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.

PIC BY LUQMAN HAKIM ZUBIR

Sports Min­is­ter Khairy Ja­malud­din with the na­tional box­ing squad at the Malaysia In­ter­na­tional Trade and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre (MITEC) at Jalan Duta on Tues­day.

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