Is Amateur Boxing Really Boxing?
by Ross Hogno
Amateur Boxing is a sport and an Olympic Sport, and therefore cannot be thought of as Boxing.
It has been too long since I was involved to try and talk about rules, regulations and scoring systems etc. What has not changed is the simple fact we don’t have any dedicated trainers of amateur boxers. Our amateurs are trained by very talented people who specialise in training professionals.
Amateurs do not need to land heavy blows to score points, as the gloves and headgear are far too soft for a heavy blow to have any real effect. A blow which knocks the opponent down only scores as 1 point and so does a soft strait left to the face.
Amateurs must be taught not to waste punches, and only to attempt scoring blows aimed at the front of the face and the front of the body.
Counter punching is an art form in the professional ranks, yet is a waste of time with the amateurs. In amateurs we have five judges who press a button when a scoring blow is landed, and 3 must press in an allocation of time which is extremely short. These so called judges would require reflexes equal that of a teenager playing an X-Box game to be able to see a counter punch, let alone press the button on time to record a point.
The Cubans have been extremely successful in the amateurs, and if we sit back and watch tape after tape we will see a common factor in their styles. They fight with their hands high, leaving the stomach area exposed. The opponent is encouraged to land a blow to the mid section, thus allowing the Cuban to step back without taking the blow and land a soft left jab to the front of the face. Cuban 1, opponent nil, and so it goes on. When enough points are accumulated in this fashion the Cubans then go on the attack, scoring even more points.
Had our great sports trainers such as Jack Gibson and Laurie Lawrence been trainers of amateur boxers they would have had these plans in place and made it happen. Johhny Lewis could have made it better had he been given more time. Johhny didn’t come up with a miracle after a couple of years, so the Powers that be went looking for miracles. Their mates weren’t good enough to do the job.
Arthur Tunstall once said to me that champion sportsman make trainers. Tell that to Duncan Armstrong and see what response you get.
Known universally as 'Rossco', he's a n authority on both amateur and professional boxing.
Rossco has also been a long-time supporter of Trinitys Youth Centre and immortalised himself as the MC at the best of Father Dave's Fight Night promotions.
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