AIBA Vice-President Serik Konakbayev: Authority of the Kazakh boxing is unchallenged

Конакбаев---Фотограф Данияр Майлыбаев
Photo Source: Daniyar Mailybayev

ASTANA. KAZINFORM – In the beginning of July Bangkok, Thailand, is going to hold Asian Youth Boxing Championship. We asked AIBA Vice-President, ASBC President Mr. Serik Konakbayev to make some comments on the upcoming event.
– 160 participants of 29 nations are expected for the continental contest, this is really good achievement. For example, the Asian Youth Boxing Championship in 2014 which was also held in Thailand had 96 boxers from 16 countries. The last year championship in Pavlodar gathered 113 sportsmen from 18 Asian states. This year the maximum number participants are expected. Full teams are coming from India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, China and Uzbekistan. All-time records are expected from Jordan, Nepal, Palestine and Taipei. Yemen, Qatar and Lebanon are first-time participants in this category, – said Serik Konakbayev.
– Mr. Konakbayev, taking this opportunity, I’d like to clarify your goals as the President of the Asian Boxing Confederation?

– I’d like to note that this election is honorable and grave responsibility for me because my country trusted me to run for this position. And now my main goal is to meet all expectations. Authority of the Kazakhstani boxing is unchallenged, it is the comprehensive result of achievements of former and current athletes, credits of our coaches, consistent work of the government and sport officials. I mean everything that leads to success and heights at the world stage. In that regard considering measures taken by the Boxing Federation of Kazakhstan in the last 9 years our boxing should be one of the best in the world.
It is the greatest pleasure for me to see that not only athletes are well-known, but Kazakhstani coaches are also considered. For instance now the new Olympic cycle starts and many national federations are making new national squads, including new coaching staff. Most of them have the same request: help to find “coach from Kazakhstan”. Whereas Asian continent has 60% of the global population and there are reputable boxing countries, but anyway our specialists are highly evaluated. For example, Olympic bronze medalist, successful coach Bolat Niyazymbetov had previously worked in Iraq, and since April he is a coach of the national team of South Korea. By the way he got in Iraq after being recommended by his coach Damir Budanbekov who had also trained Iraqi boxers. Now Mr. Budanbekov works in China. A bright representative of Kazakhstani boxing school Khamit Barayev coaches in Malaysia.
One of these days another talented coach Mukhtar Berdimbetov is leaving for Nepal. Our confederation has decided to send him for three months in order to support developing Nepal Boxing Federation and facilitate the national team in coaching and advising. And most likely that Nepal party will make a long-term contract with him as it usually happens with our coaches.
Currently we are considering 2-3 countries willing to accept our coaches, we are working on this, making negotiations on the mutually beneficial terms and conditions.
The support of the national federations by highly qualified specialists is one more step for the development of Asian boxing.
– Do you fear that our experts will put their schools that will grow competitors for our boxers?
– That’s really good question and you are partly right. However I guess we shouldn’t fear of that. First, our coaches are given an opportunity to work abroad, gain some international experience and necessary competences. Secondly “truth is sprout in discussion” and champion appears in a competitive environment. As a sportsman I think that win over the strong and worthy competitor is better so the victory is more likeable than being “the best among the weakest”.
Speaking broadly on the Confederation activities as I have said before Asia is the most densely populated continent. There is a forceful human resource but it is also the poorest one due to the ailing economy. Of course the backwardness of the economic development affects on all spheres of lives, including the sport. Also this region is subject to frequent political and military conflicts, natural convulsions. There are some rich countries but they are traditionally “non-boxing’. All these factors as a whole influence over the development of Asian boxing.
But the level of participants of the Asian Boxing Championship in Tashkent showed us the progressive development that impressed both experts and spectators.
The leaders of the continent are from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, India, China and Mongolia. Boxers from Syria, South Korea, Indonesia and Sri-Lanka are performing more confident. Last time we can see some slump among Thai sportsmen however it is caused by the generational change. But the Thai federation is one of the most successful in Asia, that’s why I am sure that they will catch up soon. Also I’d like to note that I have great expectation from the Japanese team which was quite successful at the Olympic Games in London. But currently we can’t see the activities of the Japanese federation and its boxers. Moreover they are hosting the Olympic Games in 2020, so not only me but the global sport community have high expectations.
I am impressed by federations of Bhutan, Lebanon, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and Palestine who are actively involved in the boxing movement last 2 years. It is clearly seen among the participants registered for the Youth Championship which statistics are shown above.
Our main goal is to raise the level of the Asian boxing, improve skills, spectacularity and massiveness. In my opinion the basic objective for us is the advanced training of official technical delegates, referees and coaches. The qualifications of referees are discussed for many years, we see this problem. Also we should not lose sight of retired boxers. The population of the region does not have an access to the mass education due to the poorness of the countries, but retired sportsmen are the “half-product” who are aware of the boxing and they can become the “complete product” as referees, coaches or officers if we properly arrange their further activities. Yes, this is the time-taking process but someone has to do this.
So we got a lot of plans however we cannot daydream and make illusory projects. That’s why before starting our job we try to consider the issue deeply, estimate risks, weigh all the pros and cons. We have no right to make mistakes and we should take the responsibility for each of our decisions or actions.
– Thank you Mr. Konakbayev.
– I would to thank you for your interest towards the Asian Youth competition and wish all your readers success and prosperity!

Russian version of the interview: