Retired national boxer Jagdish Singh has stated that the rules of boxing need to be further simplified for all to understand for making the sport more popular. He also blamed AIBA for complicating the rules since 2011 stating that he doesn't understand whether his boxers are winning or losing today.
Founder of Bhiwani Boxing Club which has produced some of India’s biggest names in world boxing like Vijender Singh, Akhil Kumar, Kavita Chahal and Dinesh Kumar, Jagdish Singh was recently very critical of issues surrounding the Indian boxing. Reminiscing over his coaching days, the Dronacharya award winner cited his philosophy to develop a bonding with his students as the key to his success.
“I try to strike a father-daughter relationship with all the boxers. To be there for the good and the bad times, even if it means standing by them during a personal crisis. We spend a large chunk of our time with the boxers. You see, it’s very difficult to deal with a loss. I have seen many boxers throwing the towel after a defeat,” he said, reported Scroll.
Bonding and sticking with his proteges through thick and thin has allowed him to earn their respect, which Singh says has paid him back in the form of results and mutual love. “I don’t give up on them and try to get the message across to them – to show them the right targets and with that, encourage them to dream big. It is different when you try your best and they decide to move away from the sport. Sometimes, you can get your message across even with a gaze. That comes with a lot of understanding. I have invested in a lot of them and have received that love back. They love me as much as their fathers,” he explained.
When asked why so many promising talents from India have failed to make it big, Singh has stated that the authorities have been a key factor behind the disappointment.
“I think, technically, they can match up to anyone in the world. Mentally, I feel there is a bit of a gap between us and some of the leading nations in the sport. My girls, for instance, Sakshi and Nitu have a lot of potential. The support at the top is the key and that’s what I can hope for. Sometimes, the federation gives up on a player after a defeat,” he quoted.
The coach was also asked about the changes that are required to make the game a bigger hit in India and Singh was quick to point it out - the rules. He slammed the confusing rules that the sport adheres to and criticized the AIBA for keeping it that way.
“The international federation tinker with the system far too much. One can’t figure out what’s going on (rules). You can’t protest. Why do you think sports like football and cricket are popular? It’s because fans understand the sport. In boxing’s case, it’s difficult to figure out who won or lost. I have been coaching for 34 years. If someone asks me who won or lost after a bout, I won’t be able to answer. It’s so confusing,” the coach replied.
“Every sport evolves to have more clarity with the way they function. The same doesn’t happen in boxing and AIBA is answerable for this. If you raise your voice, you will be penalised. Until 2011, there used to running score. Now as a coach, I can’t figure out whether my boxer is winning or losing. If there’s clarity, a coach can device a strategy or else he/she is simply there as a waterboy. We can’t give them much technical input,” he concluded.