Reflections on Gold Coast 18 Boxing

RINGTALKNOT UNEXPECTEDLY, the contingent of five boxers who went to the Gold Coast 18 Commonwealth Games in Australia are coming back home, empty handed.
My column of last week titled ‘Negative mindset can‘t produce medals’ shouldactually have made today’s column. To recap, I said among other things that Iwas worried about our boxers coming home empty handed of any medals.
The pessimism was triggered by the unsure response by coach WisdomMudenda who, when asked by the media to weigh his boxers chances of winningmedals he was cagey while saying the draws were “fair” and that his target wasmerely to reach the quarter finals.
‘Surely, one who wants high achievement should set eyes on the finals. I don’tknow what effect this low targeting has had on the young lads,’ I wrote last week.I argued that thinking big and positively helps one to realise or come close toachieving one’s dreams or the ultimate prize. So, the coach should have beenfocusing on gold and nothing else.
Being a winner begins with the mindset. Good results don’t come to people whoaim low. Due to time difference between Zambia and Australia, I managed towatch only Emmanuel Ngoma, Nkumbu Silungwe and Everisto Mulenga (twice)slugging it out with their different opponents.
There is no doubt that speaking purely from a skills aspect, the boys showedsome class against their opponents. So what went wrong after winning theirinitial bouts?
I think the technical aspects need refining. The fights are for three rounds with asmany minutes per round. I noticed that our boxers need to improve their handspeed and movement.
With particular reference to 19 year old Everisto, he is quite crafty with anelusive style which caught the attention of the commentators, but it appeared histiming wasn’t always accurate.
But as this was his first time at the Games, I’m sure he will not be discouragedand will polish up for bigger things at the next Games or at other tournaments.Nkumbu is also good and I wasn’t surprised when his hand was raised in his firstfight.
According to media reports, when light-heavyweight Mbachi Kaonga lost to ClayWaterman of Australia via a split points decision, he went ballistic accusing thejudges of gifting Waterman a hometown decision.
Like I said, I did not watch some of the fights involving our boys, but from those Isaw involving boxers from other countries, I tend to agree with Kaonga’ssentiments.
There were a number of fights I watched which, in my opinion, should have beenwon by the loser, but the opposite was the case. I recall in particular a fightinvolving a Papua New Guinea boxer who had done enough to get the nod, butthis was not to be.
It seemed too, to me, that fights involving dark skinned boxers against whiteskinned rivals were won almost in all cases by the light skinned lads. Look, I’mnot a racist, but it is inconceivable that dark skinned people could not beat theiropposites at these Games.
What am trying to say? It appeared that when white met black the decision waspredetermined against the black boxer before he even threw his first punch.
Comments: mwale.simon@yahoo.co.uk 0966 755574/ 0953 744074

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