Young Fijian beats Thai master in bout

Faiyaz Khan – 

Suva-born young Sebastian Singh won the vacant World Boxing Foundation (WBF) Asia Pacific Super-lightweight title at Prince Charles park in Nadi last fortnight.

The 23-year-old beat Thailand’s Roonayut Boonraska in the sixth round by a technical knockout. Boonraska failed to recover after he was hit on the nose while the two boxers were exchanging hard blows.

Convincing win

As the Referee, I counted eight and then waved my hand to confirm it was over.

This takes his record to eight wins, five of which were by technical knockout since his debut in 2013.

After the fight, Singh said that he was thankful to all his supporters and friends for their support and guidance.

“I started slow and went on full bow after the first round,” he said.

The next title will be held in Suva in May 2017, in line with the ‘IBO Lightweight.’

It is about time we won a world title, placing Fiji within the ranks of international names.

It was a long time ago that Fiji had the honour of celebrating winners like Sakaria Ve.

Encouraging pugilists

Boxing should not be seen as a ‘fight between two individuals or groups’ but as a healthy sport that promotes physical wellbeing of people.

I have often heard that most members of the Indian community do not have much physical activity and hence are vulnerable to various types of ailment.

It is not enough to do hard work at home or office.

There is a need to exercise regularly and boxing is a sport that keeps the mind and body fit, provided it is played according to the rules and regulations of the game. In fact, every game that can be categorised as ‘contact sport’ follows ‘rules of prohibition,’ to protect people involved- be in the ring or in the field.

I am happy that the Youth & Sports Ministry in Fiji is beginning to recognise Boxing as a good sport. This would help in bringing up world-class boxers.

Improving physical fitness

According to Scotie Keithlow, a ‘Platinum Level Expert and Author,’ people who have tried boxing as a form of exercise find it to have very positive results, arms and legs usually gain a lot of strength and become more defined in shape.

“However, the benefits are not all physical. People also find that they gain a greater sense of inner strength and feel more emotionally balanced. Boxing as a form of training and exercise became part of the large fitness-training arena a few years ago. Great benefits can be found from boxing workouts on muscle toning and the cardiovascular system,” he said.

Mr Keithlow said that many innovative variations on boxing such as power punches, defence and punch and kick exercises have all the components of aerobic exercise.

“As you progress you will find your strength will build along with your confidence as you are taught how to execute punch and kick moves more effectively for a far more intense workout,” he said.

Faiyaz Khan is the commissioner of the New Zealand Professional Boxing Commission.

Photo: Sebastian Singh

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