Malti - English Below
Wara li l-Ministru għas-saħħa Dr Chris Fearne riċentement ħabbar li ċ-ċertifikati tal-vaċċin mhux ħa jibqgħu obbligatorji għad-dħul f’diversi postijiet, l-Assoċjazzjoni Maltija tal-Boxing (MBA) tinsab iddiżappuntata li f’din id-deċiżjoni ma ġewx inklużi l-avvenimenti sportivi li jiġu organizzati.
B’xorti ħażina dan qed jirrifletti nuqqas ta’ attenzjoni lejn l-isports inġenerali u lejn dawk kollha involuti li tant jitħarrġu u jieħdu d-dixxiplina rispettiva tagħhom b’tant serjeta’, dedikazzjoni u impenn. Din l-assoċjazzjoni tinsab iddiżappuntata li dawn il-miżuri stretti jidhru applikabbli biss għal ċerti taqsimiet tal-popolazzjoni.
L-MBA flimkien ma’ entitajiet u assoċjazzjonijiet oħra qed jagħmlu sforzi kbar sabiex jimxu mar-regoli marbuta mal-COVID-19 filwaqt li jimxu dejjem skont l-approvazzjoni li l-awtoritajiet jagħtu meta jiġi pprattikat l-isport partikolari tagħhom. B’xorti ħażina wieħed qed jinnota li qed jiġu mfixkla b’sitwazzjonijiet bħal dawn.
L-MBA tingħaqad fl-appell tagħha flimkien ma’ assoċjazzjonijiet oħra lill-Gvern sabiex l-isport jiġi meqjus daqs industriji oħrajn minħabba li wkoll jagħtu servizz importanti f’pajjiżna.
Following the recent announcement by the Minister for Health Dr Chris Fearne, whereby vaccination certificates will no longer be mandatory for entry into several venues, the Malta Boxing Association (MBA) would like to voice its disappointment at the decision not to include other sports events in this list of easing of measures.
The MBA joins the appeal done by other associations about this matter which shows the lack of regard to sports in general and its stakeholders who during these two years of this pandemic have worked tirelessly to ensure that all rules and regulations are being followed. This disappointment grows when one notices that strict measures seem only applicable to certain cohorts of the population.
Despite all efforts done by all stakeholders in sport, the continuous disregard for sport is demotivating the athletes and all those involved who are being hindered with situations like these.
Moreover, the MBA hopes that the authorities address certain inconsistencies that have been created about the booster who is now only needed by persons attending sports events while the vaccination will not remain obligatory for a host of other event.
Finally the MBA appeals to the Government to ensure that sport is given equal opportunities as other industries as it is contributing a lot in the social well-being of the country.
Transcript in English.
00.00 – 01 .10: Introduction of Marc James (Maltese (Professional) Boxing Association affiliated to the World Boxing Council and the European Boxing Union as well as others) [Add Links] and Patrick Scherrer (Maltese (Olympic Style) Boxing Federation, elected presidents of boxing in Malta respectively.
01.10 - 02.40 Marc James is asked about what are the key differences between Professional and Amateur Boxing. Marc James replied by explaining that professional boxing is practiced over a longer number of rounds while the amateurs’ box over three (3) rounds, or four (4) if representing the country for example, a gold medal. A fighter (Professional) competes over three (3) minutes. A boxer (Amateur) will box over a two (2) minute round while the fighter will compete. James explained that professional boxing is a way for a member to earn a purse (a wage) for his or her time spent training. James continued to explain that training is conducted from morning to dust while a Maltese fighter would also work or labor outside of training hours.
02.40 – 04.40 Sport Live+ anchor Chris Falzon asked James, following his role of Chief Executive, now as President, what are his aims for the Boxing Association. James replied by stating that they should treat themselves as though that they (the Malta Boxing Association) has to re-established itself as though it was back in 2014 (Malta Boxing Association was formed in 2014 as a Maltese Local breakaway group from an English and Welsh Private Liability Company based in London, England, operating at a profit as the Malta Boxing Commission) Why he asked?
“Because we have been paused for two (2) years nearly. Yes, we did low key events, but everything stopped as a whole. Putting aside what we did during the Covid-19, were we as the administration had a chance to re-organise, re-structure, re-visit the rules and regulations and well as approving new ones, going forward, where we want to go, is to re-start the wheel. So, we want the Olympic academy, we want one to go to training, join the academy where he will have that specific training of how one moves in the ring, or ring awareness as we call it, the training. Apart from that we are to focus on the clubs themselves, whether it be administration or providing an opportunity to start international training camps and with looking into away competition, once the restrictions allow “. Said James.
04.40 – 09.20 Transcript: English.
09.27 – 11.55 Falzon asked Marc James whether or not he thought (The State) is doing enough so that in such organized competitions such as the Games of Small States which can lead to the Olympic Summer Games, would get results and in terms of support, was there any. James replied by reiterating the differences between Professional Boxing and Amateur Boxing. James further said that “You have here two (2) presidents of the respective disciplines that are doing everything they can to re-establish themselves following the consequences of Covid-19, and going forward, lets take the British for an example, whom, from the lottery (gambling), a specific amount of that goes to sport and what sport gets (from the Government) this is peanuts compared to those that are winning medals at the organized games such as the Games for the Small States of Euro, or the European and AIBA World Championships. We need to invest in them, this is what we don’t have. “I don’t have funds from the Government, we did not get a reimbursement for the rent of an office for example. I am a professional organization and its quite right. They (referring to the Malta Amateur Boxing Federation) do” James said. (It is rumoured that it would cost an invester around five/six (5/6) million British Pounds to train an individual and win a gold medal at the Olympic Games – Source can be found researching the internet for the cost of Team GB Medallists). James then asks Patrick Schaerrer whether he received funds.
11.55 – 15.05 Transcript: English.
15.05 – 16.40 A well informed Chris Falzon spoke about promoters organizing a professional boxing event. They must use the auspices of the Malta Boxing Association he aimed. “No-one can organise a professional boxing event without your approval” Falzon said.
James replied by explaining that one should look at the world ranking. You as a fighter, where you stand (in the world as a fighter), and because of the recognition that the Malta Boxing Association has from the World Boxing Council and the European Boxing Union lead by Mr Bob Logist and Ms Enza Jacoponi, those are the EBU, and fighters are ranked on the only boxing ranking system called boxrec.com, a fighter accumulates points which will then lead to title fights within organisations such as the EBU, WBC and others such as the World Boxing Association (WBA) and the World Boxing Federation (WBFed.) [Add link] where they award titles. “The right to call yourself a Champion of that Organistation” he said.
“You have to come to us (the MBA) to be ranked on boxrec but are there events that are not approved by the MBA” – Yes James said. “But the difference is that one is recognised and one is not”
Falzon followed up by commenting that winning or losing on unrecognised boxing wouldn’t affect you. James agreed.
16.40 – 18.35 Falzon then asked Marc James whether or not Covid-19 is holding back promoters from organising these shows because there is not going to be the public (refers to the boxing fans).
James explained that we should look at it as a bubble. “So that one can do a professional boxing show, where one has the expense of a fighter boxing over a longer number of rounds, 12 rounds being the maximum one can fight, or 46 minutes which are divided into three (3) minute rounds with one (1) minute break for a sip of water and instructions before coming out and continuing… to justify that that one buys a pay per view, where one can watch his/her fighter on Television, there has to be value for money. The value to organise such a professional show reaches ion the thousands (of euros) so one doesn’t do a show, and if it wasn’t for the help of the sponsors, these shows could not have happen. So yes, Covid-19 restrictions have held us back from selling our product, which is a priced ticket to a boxing show.
18.35 – 21.10 Transcript: English.
21.10 – 24.12 “Marc, this point I wanted to latch with this is a one with a recent movement in the United Kingdom, by where, it was established that when the brain receives a number of blows, something focused on footballer heading the leather ball, that dementia was maybe a factor because of this practice as studies suggest” Said Falzon.
“In boxing, there are those that would say that blows to the head of their opponent, and we sometimes have cases of a Knock-Out, wouldn’t that effect the brain? What comments do you have about this” he asked.
“Without doubt, a punch to the middle of your face, you are to feel it. Let’s not talk about those that want to throw the punch but not receive one. Irrelevant. Let’s look at the number of punches landed. Do we agree that a straight punch to your face, that what we call it, a straight, you head makes this movement (James then tilts his head backwards)?… How many of these punches that actually land cleanly in a fight? Because, don’t forget, we parry a punch, we block a punch and we step of range so you might think that a punch has landed by in fact, it did not, there was not a follow through” He said.
“Like I’m saying with the weight of your shoulder and following through on the full extension of the elbow, yes maybe, but how many land in this way? Not many. Football, and I only understand a little, you are hitting a leather ball, filled with air, almost solid, with your head. We wear a padded glove weighing 10 oz. That is why our statistic are lower than football. “Don’t quote me, but boxing is outside of the top ten, and if I’m not mistaken around 14th or 15th, but yes in the top of the top third of sport dangerous injury statistics”.
James then pointes to the studio television where competitive boxing is being shown. “Here, look” He said. “How many punches are landing. None. Unlike Coqqos because he hits well” [Insert boxrec link]. “So when we compare how many of these straights land on the head that do damage, it’s not that many”. Said James.
25.10 – 27.05 When asked about a Knock Out, Marc James replies comprehensively by saying confidently “We first must understand what is a Knock Out”
He said, “A knock out is when nerves and signals that control the likes of movement and balance running up and down the sides of your head get confused when stimulated by a punch so to speak. The signals get mixed up. Therefore, the body faints. In my personal experience as I have been knocked out a few times while training as I prepared for competition with other fighters who were heavier than me, so I could get used to the pressure, in such case I felt like I was shuddering and dreamt of the lady on the bicycle in the film Wizard of Oz. (He joked about his numerous experiences when knocked out in training). So, what happens when you are getting your balance back and re-setting, you are assessed by the doctor at ringside and would then be a requirement that our member would undergo an MRI/MRA brain scan. Here we will request dye, (to give a better colour on the scan) which is delivered into the blood stream to rule out any minor blood vessel where these small blood bleeds are not always picked up in a CT-Brain Scan prior to being allowed back into the gym/club.
27.05 – 29.30 Transcript: English.
29.30 – 32.05 Falzon asked Marc James whether being a WBC and EBU referee benefitted they way he lead the Association to which James replied that it is a privilege for him to be a recognised member and qualified Referee and this opportunity has allowed him to compare the Association with other European countries and is proud that because of an adapted copy and paste version of the British Boxing Board of Control set up and rules this has meant that the standard of the promotions is at a high level when compared but Covid has changed things. “And another thing, which makes us like the British and not like the Italians is the fact that we are split. Olympians one side and Professionals the other. This because half of the founders of organised boxing are British and because of this, we are better and we offer a better service. I am very proud of the level of our promotion and I now start to encourage the local promoters to gather because we are now ready to restart our operations.
32.05 – 34.30 Transcript: English.
34.30 – 37.33 When asked about his future plans James replied “We are doing the same. We are trying to restart and that’s what we are going to do. We are starting our leagues, that being the Club and Amateur Leagues (Non AIBA) and we are going to start moving the wheel on our boxrec’d fighters. Once this is all moving, we would like to attend the European Assembly, if it takes place, and there, we would like to invite our colleagues in and around Europe, for us to host the 2023 Assembly here in Malta. It is something that I’d had wished to do as CEO, but then Covid, Covid, Covid, (he repeated) we keep and are going on about Covid, now is the time that we start. We are starting with the clubs, we have identified three (3) clubs, two (2) are members, one (1) is independent… Falzon interrupted James with a question “Are there going to be any measure set in place in view of the Covid-19 restrictions and individuals’ vaccination?”
“We did five (5) shows during Covid,” said James.
“We had people that wanted to put food on the family’s plates. I had to do them and I did. We adapted by not just downloading a form from a website but by the appointed of a public health safety officer to advise us and we followed. We took advice and did risk assessments. In addition, on the other hand, the promoter, the person who is responsible for the fans, while we are responsible for the boxing, together a coloration, provided us with a copy of their risk assessment and made sure that they were in sync. We took it very seriously, don’t forget, the worse sport for (the transmission of) this virus is boxing. The close contact, sweat droplets, breath moisture and spray… we understand this and take precautions,” Said James.
When replying to the individual vaccination (Given the recent developments of tennis player in an Austain Open) James said “Whether one is vaccinated or not…(James is noticeably hesitant) that’s a matter of the Public Health Authorities but will we ask for a Covid Negative Test, a PCR test, seventy-two (72) prior to and the day of Competition? Yes, and we did and we verify the results. Those that will be in the competition area and not the Promoters side of the barrier, we will all be Covid tested three days before the event and on the day of the competition. (This includes the Ring Officials, Referee and Judges, Inspectors and any remaining supporting staff such as the TV Crew). James explained. “We have guidelines that we must observe, guideline by the World Boxing Association and adapted to our local laws and yes, we are now going to start our operations under these and any other measures set in place”. James added.
37.33 Transcript: END.