Legendary Amaldass laments state of State's boxing

Indian boxing greats (from left) Capt M Venu, Ganapathy Manoharan and Capt Isaac Amaldass, at a felicitation event in Bengaluru on Thursday. DH PHOTO

Legendary Indian boxer Capt Isaac Amaldass expressed his concern over the poor state of affairs of Karnataka boxing here on Thursday. 

Amaldass, who shared the stage with other Indian stalwarts like Capt. M Venu and Ganapathy Manoharan at a promotional event, felt that lack of boxing coaches was one of the major problems in the State today.

"Across Karnataka, there are only two coaches for boxing. In Bengaluru, there is Capt. B Dhanasanjayan while in Belagavi, there is Capt. Mukundathilakaran. How many quality boxers can just two coaches produce," he questioned. 

With the Federation here split into two factions, there has been no consistency in conducting State-level tournaments. Holding regular tournaments is key for selecting boxers for national meets, pointed Amaldass, an eight-time national medallist.

"The State Association must function properly and conduct tournaments at the taluka, district and State levels. Only then can you identify the best talents. Currently, the club culture is strong in Karnataka. Ahead of any national-level meet, the Karnataka association just call for selection trials to pick the team. Earlier, we would see the systematic way of holding tournaments to pick the best for the State team. The club culture isn't helping us produce boxers who can win medals at the national level consistently," offered Amaldass.

The Arjuna awardee, who retired as coach in 2018, stressed that Karnataka must take inspiration from teams like Haryana, Services and Railways to bring about a boxing culture. If you look at Haryana, they encourage their players a lot. They provide great facilities and even job opportunities for those who excel in boxing. Here in Karnataka we don't even have proper boxing rings in cities outside Bengaluru," he pointed out.

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