The World Boxing Council is cheering Anthony Joshua, for his open handed and kind hearted donation to Amateur Boxing, which is on the ropes during the worst pandemic suffered in more than one hundred years.
In the realization that Amateur Boxing is really struggling, AJ has dug deep to provide what`s being described as substantial funding, commenting: “The Sport has given me a lot and I want to help highlight the issues affecting grass roots clubs and do what I can to keep the lights on for those most in need.”
The funding will go directly to illuminate the Amateur National Federations of England, Scotland and Wales and be fairly distributed solely to help the path of youngsters, starting out and progressing in the sport.
Anthony came late to Boxing at eighteen, but through extraordinary natural ability and tremendous hard work at Finchley ABC, he progressed leaps and bounds to catch up. This culminated in a silver medal at the World Amateur Championships in 2011 and a gold in the 2012 Olympics. It set the stage for a magnificent pro career, which is now at its peak.
It has to be understood and appreciated that amateur boxing is the grass roots foundation of professional boxing, which would neither exist or survive without it.
The World Boxing Council is taking important steps to help amateur boxing worldwide. It has established an Amateur Boxing Committee. The Chairman is Fausto Daniel Garcia, who is himself a boxing Olympian and a qualified medical doctor.
It has organized national and international tournaments. It`s invited youngsters from a number of countries to come to Mexico to compete, accompanied by their own coaches, but also to receive training from Mexican coaches and to take part in contests against young Mexican counterparts.
The WBC does this because it deeply cares about what happens to boxing and wants amateur boxing to further develop as well as flourish. Many of the greatest boxers of all time, owe their pro careers to the apprenticeship they served in the amateur ranks, where they learned their trade.
These include, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, the Klitschko Brothers, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, AJ himself, Miguel Cotto, the Spinks Brothers, Meldrick Taylor, Nino Benvenuti, Lazlo Papp, Teofilio Stevenson, Felix Savon, John H Stracey, Mario Kindelan, Amir Khan and Daniel Zaragoza, along with so many more.
Amateur Boxing has been part of the Summer Olympics since 1904. But due to poor stewardship by an organization which shall remain nameless, that was supposed to administer and protect it, and should have known better, there was a considerable risk it could be dropped from the Tokyo Olympics.
The World Boxing Council launched and embarked upon a concerted global campaign to fight for, champion and save amateur boxing. Among other initiatives it organized a worldwide petition which was sent to the International Olympic Committee, and this triumphed.
It is hard to gauge and measure the level of anticipation and sheer excitement that a youngster feels when they go into a gym for the first time, to glimpse the heavy bag, the speed ball, the pads, the headguards, skipping ropes and the ring itself. As Bogart said: “Louis…I think this is the start of a beautiful relationship.”
Traditonally for the rich, golf, polo and ocean racing yacht competitions. Boxing remains the bedrock sport of the people from more humble cradles and cribs. So many gyms are located in modest areas. The training shoes of many youngsters who wipe them on the doormats, are threadbare.
They arrive with a flat empty belly and wide eyed wonderment. For the most talented lies ahead undreamed of riches. For those who don`t reach these dizzying heights, amateur boxing provides escape from easy temptations, instilling purpose, dedication and work ethic. A destiny life plan of potential, reinforced by determination and appreciation through hard work, rather than hard graft.
The WBC, which will continue to help amateur boxing today, tomorrow and forever, greatly admires Anthony Joshua, who`s not forgotten his origins in the sports and is generously giving back. We hope others will also remember where they came from, step up and dig deep in their pockets, to help with their so needed resources.
There have been great boxing champions who have not had the full benefits of an extended fostering amateur career like Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez, Carlos Monzon, Bernard Hopkins, Ricardo Lopez and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Economic need meant that they had to start early in the pro ranks to help their families. They succeeded in spite of not enjoying the tutorials of the amateur boxing learning curve. However, amateur boxing is and remains the best tried and tested and proven path to success.
Anyone who truly cares for and about the future of all boxing, will do everything in their power to help it not only survive, but also flourish. That all starts in the roots of amateur boxing, from which the seed of hope germinated.
So THANK YOU AJ. Happy New Year. You are a true benefactor, friend and hands on supporter of amateur boxing.