Boxing in 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games | Olympic Update | Talkin’ Fight
EPISODE: Episode 23
Join us on our on-going exploration of the Olympics to be held in Tokyo 2021, featuring Christian from the Friday Night Panel, and the route to the ring. Watch TalkinFight weekdays at 12, 4, 7, and 8:30pm EST on YouTube or LIVE at talkinfight.com/live @Olympic @IOC Media #olympics
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Hello boxing fans around the world, thank you for joining us once again for another episode of talking fight where we feature christian from the friday night manual who’s going to tell us about what he’s learned about the boxing and the olympics coming up this july in tokyo.
What have you learned christian uh? Well, graham, we start today with some sad news.
Unfortunately, boxing federation of india’s executive director, rk sachetti, has died on tuesday morning after battling covet 19, and he was just 56 years of age.
The long-serving administrator was fighting the infection at a hospital in new delhi for the past few days and was on ventilator support.
The boxing federation of india has said in a statement is with a deep sense of sorrow and grief.
We inform you that mr r k sachet the executive director of the boxing federation of india, has left for the heavenly abode uh this morning, creating a huge void in the sports world.
He has been a member of the ioc olympic task force and a naval administrator with an unparalleled contribution to the flag of india sports.
It added that india’s olympic associations uh sorry india’s olympic association, as secretary general rajiv mehta, said in a statement.
I’M deeply saddened to hear about the sudden demise of india’s olympic association associate joint secretary boxing federation executive director and dear friend, sri raj kumar sachetti.
Sachetti first became boxing federation of india’s executive director in 2016 and retained that position after incumbent president aj singh was re-elected in the federation elections held just earlier this year.
Meta continued, his contribution to the olympics and the commonwealth movement in india will be fondly remembered.
Last year, sachetti was invited by the international olympic committee’s experts group to advise on formulation of rules for olympic qualifiers.
Reactions have been pouring around in from around boxing fraternity, as various athletes and officials have mourned the loss, including tweets from just about every member of india’s olympic team.
So yet another blow for india’s olympic side.
When it comes to boxing here – and i think it’s pretty safe to say at this point with everything – that’s been going on with the indian team – that whatever their olympics were going to look like prior to you know, prior to code, even with the rescheduled olympics, we’re Not going to be seeing the best of what we might have seen out of india and i think it’s going to be 2024 before we see in paris before we start seeing.
India come back as a bit of a powerhouse here, but, as always, i got thoughts and prayers for uh, the sachet, family and uh.
You know all our you know the best luck to uh team india and hopefully that they’re able to uh move on through this.
Like everything else that they’re going through – graham, i hope that’s not the only news you have that’s pretty sad.
No, that is sad um.
Unfortunately, you know it’s not great news um, but uh on the hometown front, graham one of our locals uh mississauga, boxer, john michael bianco, is considering making the jump from the amateurs to pros if uh his olympic dreams are dashed due to covet 19.
So after winning uh, you know a number of events in uh.
Actually one large tournament back in 2019 bianco joined canada’s national boxing team and began working towards competing at the olympics.
Now bianco was set to compete at the qualifying tournament in argentina back in march of 2020, but as we know that was cancelled when everything was put on hold due to the pandemic.
Training through the pandemic has been difficult for bianco as his gym, along with everybody else’s here in the city, uh was forced to close.
However, he was able to come up with some creative ways to keep working on his skills through that time he says when the pandemic first started.
My coach and i were training in a parking lot, because all of the gyms were closed.
Now we were doing that for most of the summer months, and my training mainly consisted of that plus a lot of running now in september, when things began to open up again, and it appeared that we were on the verge of returning to normal.
Bianca was bianco.
Was able to get back into a more structured training routine, albeit briefly saying in the fall? I was able to get back for the somewhat regular conditioning program for a few weeks.
However, a second wave of the virus meant that gyms were once again forced to close.
Now we know this here in the city, some athletes, including bianco, were able to get their hands on special permission to continue training, but they still needed a facility to allow them to do so.
He says that you know with all the restrictions in place.
It’S been really tough to get into any gym, so back in february, bianco went to montreal, along with the other members of the national team, four training camp that was intended to help prepare for the olympic qualifiers.
The now cancelled qualifiers, however, just four days into the two-week camp.
One of the athletes did test positive for cove at 19.
and everything was shut down and everyone was sent home now, despite this bianco continued training and preparing for the tournament, which was, as we know, scheduled for may in argentina.
I guess now this month in argentina in late april.
Again, as we all know at this point, it was announced that this qualifier was off now, as opposed to the first time, though, which offered a hope for a future event.
This time, nothing we as we know, there’s nothing that to replace this event and bianco says it really sucked, because it’s an entire year spent training for this moment that doesn’t even end up happening.
It takes time away from other things: family, friends, other jobs.
I’Ve had to put my career on the back burner.
I’Ve been off work since december in order to focus on training full-time for the qualifier.
So to hear the news that, for a second time it was cancelled, was devastating.
However, while most qualifying events have been cancelled, the international olympic committee still intends to have the games this summer, as we know, and that’s without qualifying events, another metric is going to have to be used to determine who gets to compete for those for those births.
Now, for boxing this is going to be points based, as we know, the ranking system is largely going to be dependent on international tournaments.
This is not great news for bianco, as he joined the national team a bit late and was unable to attend many international competitions.
Over the last couple of years uh, he says of this – i was only able to compete in one tournament and that tournament, i went to isn’t even part of the rankings.
So, while bianco does hope that his rankings, his current rankings and standings, will earn him an invite to compete at the olympics, he’s also prepared for the possibility that he may not stating i’m still kind of weighing my options and waiting to find out about the olympics.
But once that’s finalized, if i’m not going i’ll, have to start looking into the pro world and figure out who it is that i want to work with so at this point in time.
It’S not looking particularly hopeful for uh for bianco and he says: if that’s it, that’s it and we can look forward to some probe outs.
He’S saying within the next 12 months he’s hoping to get under the pro circuit, but we lose another one.
I was going to say: yeah, you got a fire going on down there anyway, um.
I was just gon na say queen street.
He he and numerous other amateur boxers who don’t have an open health hitting the podium should be considering a pro career.
But how are they going to do that? What are their next steps? It’S not like those agents, managers, promoters looking for new boxers who may or may not be qualified to go to the olympics anyway.
Do you have other news? Well, i mean, i think this actually circles background to what you were talking about uh this past sunday uh on the special of a special episode that uh you ran with uh rob gorey and it comes down to.
How do you promote yourself? How do you take advantage of modern technology in order to promote yourself to make that jump from amateurs into the pros, because a lot of the reason why we see these guys holding on as long as they do in order to hope to get an olympic birth Or to hope to get into you know the commonwealth games or a larger event, where they’re going to get more recognition, where they’re going to see themselves on camera more and these promoters, these recruiters are.
There are going to get a chance to see them and the reason we don’t see that is because you sure a lot of these guys would love to go pro.
The money’s in going pro there’s little to no money, as we’ve explored in the past on the amateur side of things, but without the promotion without money behind you without the right infrastructure behind you, it’s next to impossible to go and to actually make any money at It i mean rob, put out a great uh statistic on sunday saying you know what what was the percentage of uh boxers, making over two million dollars a year 0.
001 or something exactly exactly.
And then you know, you know if you get rid of guys even making a million.
It’S you know.
90, you know, 90 of the boxers are taking home 10 of the money uh in the program.
So it’s all about.
How do you promote yourself and that’s where these large international uh tournaments come into play? So it’s heartbreaking for these guys.
You know he bianco is a great fighter and he’s in a position where he probably could go pro and do very well as a pro.
But is he going to get the fights that he needs in order to actually progress as a professional fighter and actually make some money, and i make a career out of being a pro comes down to his promoters and his team being able to get him? The right fights which are going to get him the right pay-per-views which are going to you know yada yada, goes down the line.
You know how this works, so is he going to go pro if he doesn’t make it absolutely? Is he going to have an easier time going pro if he goes to the olympics and podiums at the olympics? Absolutely right! So how do we take advantage? I hear there’s a website where uh, where boxers can upload their information yeah.
Absolutely anyone out there uh boxing in the sport of boxing just go to talk and fight.
com and upload your profile, but it’s interesting and fight footage.
Yes, and now you can upload fight footage, your own uh, whether it’s your uncle sitting there with his iphone uh, go ahead, uh what the heck happened to your screen anyway, um.
I was just my light.
Sorry, i was just gon na say the the difference between the amateurs and the pros uh in making that decision is this.
In my humble opinion, at the amateur level you don’t really choose.
There’S no matchmaker sitting there, choosing who you’re gon na fight.
You know you’re going to a tournament and you’re squaring off against the best of the best from other countries: okay in your weight class; okay, unless it’s rio, but in the in the pro world.
As we now know, there are such things as journeymen and or tomato cans who basically pad your statistics to enable you to become that 10-0 fighter and to be then taken seriously by those in the industry, and there, i think, is the major difference between hey.
An amateur i may not go to the olympics.
I may not succeed because i don’t really know who i’m going to be fighting.
I might lose okay versus going pro and you can’t fight every month, uh, so you’re only going to have what three or four fights and back in the old days was a lot different, but uh due to parameters now mainly health concerns.
You’Ve got three or four fights a year, so it’s going to take him two or three years to get that 10-0 record he so desires in order to become that serious contender, even even if by then he’s making money, which i doubt okay.
Well, this is how do you become? You know: how do you not become that guy who’s just padding out somebody else’s statistics? It’S like yeah you’re, a pro fighter, but you’re just to your to your point, just padding out somebody else’s statistics.
If you don’t have the right team behind you right and i think uh you know this is the balance between, say the programs we have available in canada and england versus those that are available in other developing nations, which may or may not match our uh level Of expectation in terms of professionalism, so are we able to professionally it’s money? It always comes back to money.
It’S it’s a matter of.
We can afford to send our elite teams around the world to different tournaments.
That’S what i’m saying so! There’S a level of professional administration that we have as a backbone that supports these amateur athletes.
You know it’s a whole different kettle of fish when you get into those professionals in the professional sport who are in it for the money, so they they only want to sight sign those fighters who they’ve already seen go through that rank attain that level of 10-0 12-0, of which nine were knockouts, i mean: do we ever look other than mike at knuckle over knuckle-up, looking at who the heck they’re fighting and how they got that uh 10-0 record uh, you know, realistically, i’m telling you i’m well good for him.
If he turns pro good for him, but good luck to him is what i’m saying: uh yeah and uh big team makes a point, and i think we mentioned it earlier.
Commonwealth games would fall under the same category as one of these major international tournaments uh things like the commonwealth games, things like the pan american games, southeast asian games, any of the major aiba tournaments world tournaments things of that nature.
But those are the these are where you know these are where these guys get their start before they go pro and if you can meddle a whole bunch of times at these international tournaments, that’s going to go a lot further to getting you these pro fights.
When you do make that transition, or should i say pro fights professional fights of consequence, where you’re not going sorry, you fought who? Who was that right, you know and as with any other talent-based industry, whether it be music, film fashion, there’s not enough professional managers, agents and promoters out there to support the number of trained, uh men and women who can transition from let’s say the amateur? You know i’m doing something i just love to do to being paid to do it because again, i’m addressing comments uh made by big t, i mean it’s, it’s easy to say: get a manager get an agent, but these guys are ruthless when it comes to their Decision making process as to who they’re going to represent, who they’re going to spend their very valuable time on, as we all know, in the talent-based industries, it’s a pyramid-based structure.
We pointed it out on sunday, you’ve pointed it out again.
Today, it’s not going to be easy for this young man to jump from.
Oh i’m just going to turn pro well good luck to you, sir again, he might win his next 10 fights, but they might be.
You know there might be no money in those fights whatsoever, you know or very little the purses.
You know this is what i’m saying so big decision, big decision.
Well, hopefully his ranking.
Hopefully, his rankings carry him through to tokyo, he’s not off the table yet bianca’s, not all completely off the table.
Yet it’s just but we’re waiting to find out.
What’S going to happen with him uh, we haven’t seen the entire card for north america.
What that’s going to look like as of yet, but we will let you know as soon as we have a finalized team for uh for here as well.
As you know, obviously, our friends in great britain, the americans, the rest of them.
You know once we have some finalized national teams will be taking a closer look at who’s, going to be actually attending this tournament.
A super good example would be the nigerians we we here at talking, fight, get contacted by nigerian boxers all the time and they’re telling us how great they are uh, but they don’t have the same level of communication between the administrators in nigeria and the administrators.
In other countries to set up those big bouts that they’re entitled to well in their opinion, they’re entitled to so you know, there’s a good example where you’ve got a huge nation, huge population, huge population of boxers.
Yet do they get the recognition they deserve.
In their opinion, they don’t get that recognition because they’re out there they aren’t able to fight well, with the exception of a couple of recent fights where we saw a couple of nigerian boxers to do incredibly well, who were featured on our knockout uh episode on sunday.
A couple sundays ago, but anyway i digress.
This is that’s supposed to be about the olympics.
I apologize uh we’re getting a little bit off topic.
You know not really but uh.
Then that’s it for me i’ll shut up no, and that just about does it for me today as well.
Graham, i will obviously scan the headlines in the morning and see what we come up with so hopefully something a little bit more a little bit more positive.
Hopefully an announcement uh saying that uh bianco is going to get his olympic births and i’ll keep you guys posted on that, like i said and uh we’ll go from there.
It’Ll be interesting one day to see uh.
If answer me, this is there a listing right now of qualified olympic boxers who have that birth? Well depends i mean in in africa.
Yes in asia oceania, yes, europe! No because they’re still theoretically a qualifier, that’s going to happen in paris in june and they’re still tallying, what’s happening here in north america.
So we haven’t seen the final numbers for who’s boxing from north america.
Yet so we haven’t seen that we haven’t seen the national olympic committees haven’t all weighed in with their announcement as to who they’re sending so the ioc may have been in touch with uh, the canadian olympic committee, for example, they haven’t released their final numbers, yet if They have been in touch.
I don’t think those announcements have been made yet, though alrighty well that wraps up for today, then thank you, my goodness.
The the comments are coming in fast and furious.
Thank you very much guys.
Have we addressed everything? I think so.
I think we’ve addressed all your issues and uh thanks very much for the report.
Christian appreciate it um yep, uh, big t uh chris, and i spent a lot of time in ghana and yeah.
We we wish that we, i think we pointed out, was yesterday we’re talking about ghana or the day before we mentioned that the ghanaian national team is stepping up their uh preparations and that they’re gon na be uh training for four weeks uh in june in inushiro.
Japan and the four week lead up to the national event and they’ve already got ghana.
The guy team already has three uh three qualified and we’re waiting on sorry and hoping to qualify two more based on uh based on their rankings.
There was the first female looking to uh qualify as well, and there was something there was some weirdness going on there, but i’m going to follow up with next week.
No, i thought that was uganda all right.
No, not that was gone.
All right cool more to report on as we move forward.
Thanks very much appreciate it christian and thanks very much good viewership for uh, commenting, appreciate it and we’ll see you tomorrow, we’ll talk about