OLYMPIC BOXING QUEST
|The Olympic Journey
First Step 1980
|The 2004 Nationals
|The Oceania Regionals
|An athletes journey in any sport
is hard yacker and it doesn't get any easier even when the skills
and experience have been honed over long years of practise and
competition. The Olympic Games is the pinnacle for amateur boxers
and this road leads to the Athens Games. Boxing was possibly the
most demanding sport at the first Games of the 21st Century
due to the fact that old style general amateur boxing
rules still allow contestants not just to win by skilfully scoring
more points, but by also knocking their opponents unconscious.
|In close to 200 countries around
the world young men lured like bees to a honey pot on the basis of
representing their country boxed in State, National, and finally
Regional elimination tournaments to see if they could live
the dream of just being there. So lets join a young boxer on the
road to being there at Athens and when, not if, he stumbles we will
continue with his conqueror until he also proverbially hits the
deck, and the last survivor in the chain achieves the ultimate prize
an Olympic Gold Medal.
|Australian Academy of Boxing,
Gold Cup Rating 9 achiever, Dane Herbert boxing in the 75kg
Middleweight Division is the boxer that we will walk a mile with
until he stumbles. Whilst it may seem that we started off with a
pessimistic outlook we were simply being realistic because no matter
how good an athlete we are, or how skilful we can be, at some stage
everyone can and does lose.
A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Starts With The
The Long March (Mao Tse-tung)
|A Need for Personal Defence
The first step towards Athens for Dane Herbert began at
eight years of age way back in 1980 when his Mum Joy asked her
husband boxing trainer Dereck Herbert to take him along to his gym
the Collingwood Boxing Club, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, so
that Dane who was very small could learn how to defend himself. His
Dad showed him a correct defensive stance and how to throw punches
with effect but purposely let him just have fun with other kids
skipping, hitting the floor to ceiling balls and punch bags.
Over the years Dane went to the gym occasionally just to have a bit
of fun until at almost 18 years of age he said Dad I want to box.
They were the operative words 'I want to box'. His Dad then started
to teach him and in Dane's first year of competition 1990 won
Victorian Novice & Intermediate Titles and was Runner-Up in the
Open Light-Welterweight Championship.
In 1991 he represented Victoria at Welterweight in the Australian
National Championships losing to the eventual Gold Medallist.
In 1993 he won the Lionel Rose Best Boxer Trophy and was Runner-Up
in the Victorian Light-Middleweight Final.
In 1994 he again reached the final and in 1995 was awarded the Arch
Tanner Trophy, and won the Light- Middleweight Championship but with
the Medallion round his kneck and crowd still cheering farcially had
the decision changed.
Other controversial decisions in the 1996 & 1998 Victorian
finals saw Dane then travel to England to box for his Dad's old club
West Ham to pick up a best boxer award but dip out in the 1999 ABA
It's hard to keep away from boxing no matter how hard a game it is
so in 2003 happily married to his darling Colleen down on a farm in
South Gippsland, Victoria, with baby sons Alfie trotting at his
heels and Sullivan in his pram Dane started his long journey back.
Why you may ask does anyone try so hard when it would be so much
easier to just sit back and enjoy life, and the reason is to be the
best you can whilst you still can, or as Marlon Brando put it in:
On The Waterfront 'I could have been a contender'.
Dane's first bouts in 2003 after a four year layoff were in
Australian Academy of Boxing Golden Gloves & White Collar Boxing
competition that utilise rules that allow participants to hone their
boxing skills without getting knocked out.
In October-November 2003 he had a couple of general amateur warm up
contests in the middleweight division and then his coach Craig Beeby
entered him in the old knock-out style Victorian Championships
starting on the 22nd February 2004.
Always expect the unexpected. In December Dane picked up a viral
infection which the doctors could not pinpoint and then went down
hard with pneumonia. He was rushed to hospital on Boxing Day the
26th and was in there until the first week in January 2004 before
they let him out to fully recuperate. But he still wanted to box and
had his eyes set firmly on the Victorian Championships.
A Boxing Trainers job is to train and provide experienced advice.
The advice in this case was that it was nigh impossible in just 6
weeks for anyone so ill and weakened wth pneumonia to get from a
hospital bed and into a type of boxing that allows contestants to be
knocked senseless. But when the boxer still says he wants to give it
a go then a trainer has to do his best to get the boxer to the
church on time.
So on a wing and a prayer Dane began training very lightly in the
second and third weeks of January and on the 15th of February boxed
in an Australian Academy of Boxing Golden Gloves Rules contest over
the classic 3 x 3 minute rounds distance. His opponent Daniel Smith
was also in the old style Victorian Boxing Championships so his
clear points victory was a positive indicator of his gradual
On the 22nd February Dane met and stopped Clinton Johnson in
round 2 of the Middleweight Championships and on the 7th March
despite his opponent Nathan Woodham being allowed to continuously
hold and head butt won over the 4 x 2 minute rounds by a wide 52 to
26 points margin. On the 14th of March Dane beat Luke Maloney by
another wide points margin of 38 to15 and finally despite all the
adversity had won the Victorian Championship.
When Dane first walked into the Collingwood Boxing Club in 1980 as
an 8 year old his coach Craig 'Super' Beeby was the
Light-Welerweight Champion of Victoria and it was a great feeling
for them to share the moment because once your Champion no matter
what else happens in life no one can ever take it away.
As the saying goes if at first you don't succeed try try and try
again. Dane had boxed for the old style Open Victorian Amateur
Boxing Championship on six previous occasions and whilst winning the
previous three times without getting the decision finally on the
seventh try came up trumps and amazingly got to keep the medallion.
A friend of Dane asked him if he could get to the Olympics
and Dane replied 'hypothetically while he kept winning he had a
chance, but realistically it was just pie in the sky'.
As Victorian Middleweight Champion Dane Herbert represented
Victoria at the Nationals in South Australia that commenced on the
25th March 2004. We follow his quest.
The Glory Boys
Australian Championship Middleweight Contenders:
- Jamie Pittman-2003 National & Oceania Regional Champ. NSW
- Richard Rowles- 1996 & 2000 Australian Light-Middleweight
Olympic Representative. Qld
- Dane Herbert-Victoria
- Michael Turner-South Australia
- Brendon Scully-W.Australia
- John Brown-Tasmania
- Scott Lovelock-A.C.T.
- Gary Armstrong-N.Territory
Sleepless in Adelaide
On Wednesday the 24th March 2004 The Victorian State Boxing
Team went by bus and arrived 12 hours later at 8pm in Adelaide,
South Australia. After a bite to eat the team finally hit their
pillows around 10pm as they had to be up at 5am Thursday morning on
the 25th ready for the check weigh in at 6 and the official one at
8. The official weigh-in and medical check took 2 hours before the
boxers were able to have breakfast.
The middleweight division finally ended up with 6 contenders with
the boxers from Tasmania and Northern Territory not participating.
The two highest rating boxers Jamie Pittman(NSW) and Richard
Rowles(QlD) drew the short straws and faced each other in the first
elimination round whilst our brother in arms Dane Herbert(Vic) drew
Michael Turner(SA) with Brendon Scully(WA) and Scott Lovelock(ACT)
getting a first round bye.
With over 30 bouts to be contested on the 25th March the powers
that be decided to run them all in one evening. Well it doesn't take
an Einstein to know that 30 boxing contests equal at least 8-9 hours
of boxing and the tournament concluded around 2am on the 26th March.
Fine for the boxers who are on early as they and their counterpart
referees and judges are fighting fit. Not so fine for the boxers on
last who would normally have been in bed for at least the previous 4
hours. Also not so fine for the referees and judges on call
throughout the entire program.
As it is unsafe to drive a car when tired it is unsound to expect
anyone be they athletes, referees, or judges to give of their best
when their body clocks have closed down. Half the contests should
have been conducted in the afternoon and the other half in the
evening. No justification or excuse is acceptable for the program to
have been conducted beyond 11pm.
Cause & Consequence
The principle of the seven 'Ps', Prior Preparation and Planning
Prevents Piss Poor Performance, says it all. The first Middleweight
contest got started after 1am on Friday morning.
The critical feedback on Jamie and Richard's contest was that Jamie
won but the judges were either drowsing off at their computer
buttons wishing they were home in bed or had already fallen to sleep
because the decision went to Richard. Likewise the critical feedback
was that Dane accounted for Michael fairly easily forcing the
referee to put a count on him at the end of the third round and
rocked him twice more in the fourth only to have the judges
inexplicably give Michael the decision.
Michaels elevation to the next round was a promotion beyond his
abilities and sure enough Richard who is a known puncher put another
couple of counts on him for a clear win.
Scott accounted for Brendon in their encounter but Richard was too
good and promptly stopped Scott in the third round of the final.
Dane - Craig Beeby - Beau Gerring
We bid Dane Herbert a fond farewell after his elimination in
the Australian Championships and hitch a ride with Richard Rowles
from Queensland who back in 1995 was the fifth rated welterweight in
the world. His personal quest is firstly to be a three time Olympian
at Athens and secondly to win the Olympic Middleweight Gold Medal.
Jamie Pittman - Richard Rowles
Jamie Pittman should and we expect will get a second throw of the
dice by being Australia's Middleweight 'B' team representative at
the Oceania Regional Championships.
Richard commiserates Jamie
2004 OCEANIA REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Winner Takes All
The Oceania Regional Championships were held over the last
week of April 2004 in Nuku'alofa the fair capital of Tonga, on the
island of Tongatapu in the South Pacific.
Australia is represented by two boxing teams at regional
championships and the Middleweight contingent consisted of 2004
Australian Champion Richard Rowles in the 'A' squad and as we
forecast in Viewpoint Jamie Pittman got his second roll of
the dice and was the 'B' team representative.
In the preliminary elimination finals on 27th April Richard beat
Pio Talpeau from New Zealand on points then in the quarter finals on
the 28th of April knocked out Samoan boxer Leonard Numbu in the
first round. Jamie stopped his opponent Sosaia Vaka of Tonga in the
second round of his quarter final bout and then on the 30th of April
accounted for Ioane Taulamago of Samoa in the semi-final to gain a
finals slot. Richard met Moses Lopini from Tonga in his semi-final
and unleashing his explosive punching power gladly sent Moses on his
way to the promised land in round two.
Only Two to Tango
On the 1st May 2004 at Nuku'alofa, Tonga two time Olympian
Richard Rowles again met 2003 Oceania Champ Jamie Pittman in the
final Middleweight gunfight. The prize in this winner takes all
battle for supremacy, selection as the Oceania Middlewight Boxing
contender for Athens Olympic Games Gold.
In their previous contest at the Australian Championships in
Adelaide conducted at 1.15 am. in the morning of the 26th March
Richard had won a contentious decision over Jamie. Contentious in
that the critical feedback was that Jamie had clearly won the points
but the decision from the sleep deprived judges (see Cause
& Consequence), who like the boxers should have been tucked
up in bed for the previous few hours, went to Richard.
Life occasionally gives someone second chances from stuff ups and
Jamie took his with both fists to hammer out a a 17 to 8 points
victory over Richard to win the Oceania Middleweight final and the
Olympic Games selection.
A Player in the Main Game
In May 2000 endeavouring to get to the Sydney Olympics as an
eighteen year old Jamie Pittman had won Australian 'B' team
Welterweight selection for the Oceania Regionals. Whilst outclassing
his opponent in the quarter finals he accidently received a cut
below his left eye from a clash of heads that outed him from the
competition. In 2004 Jamie four years older, more experienced, and a
heck of a lot wiser, finally gets to roll the dice at the main game.
We wish him well in his quest for Gold at Athens and will now hitch
a ride on his bandwagon.
We bid Richard Rowles a fond farewell after his marvellous
effort to become a triple Olympian and congratulate him on his
wonderful success in boxing.
2004 ATHENS OLYMPIC GAMES
Twenty-eight middleweight boxers from all regions of the globe came
to the Peristeri Olympic Boxing Hall in Athens, Greece over fourteen
days of August 2004 to box for an Olympic Games Gold Medal. We began
the Olympic journey back in 1980 walking a mile with Australian
boxer Dane Herbert who won the 2004 Victorian State Title. The baton
was then taken by Queensland boxer Richard Rowles who won the
Australian Title and we have now hitched a ride with his fellow
Australian Jamie Pittman who pipped Richard for the 2004 Oceania
Round One: Saturday 14th August
Twenty-four boxers competed on the 14th of August with four
receiving first round byes. Jamie Pittman met Lukas Wilaschek from
Germany and on the computer scoring system held a handy lead 12 to 8
points by the end of round two. Whilst the running points score
tally was supposedly only available to the media most corners were
aware of the tally through media insiders. Good coaches play the
computer scoring system by advising their boxers when leading into
the third and fourth to tactically close the bout down by moving
away from the opponent and counter punch or punch first and then
force a clinch. The boxer who is behind is then forced into rushing
to catch up and often falls further behind. In the third Jamie
failed to use those ring tactics making the fatal error of trading
punches with Lukas who evened the score 17-17. The last had Jamie in
front early until Lukas drew level again and fired home the winning
shot five seconds from the bell. Scores 24-23.
The dice roll didn't favour Jamie this time but he did get
to play in the sports worlds greatest game and we bid him farewell.
Second Round: Saturday 21st August
Sixteen boxers competed in the second round and Lukas Wilaschek was
pitted against Oleg Mashkin from the Ukraine who had previously
accounted for Khotso Godfrey Motau from South Africa in another
close contest. Scores 25-22.
Oleg only hit the front against Khotso in the fourth and last round
but booked his seat in the Quarter Finals with a start to finish win
by eliminating Lukas. Scores 34-24.
Quarter Finals: Wednesday 25th August
Musical Chairs Take Two
Now with the scent of medals in the air there were only eight
boxers left in the race. Oleg met Thailand southpaw Suriya
Prasathinphimai who was ably assisted in the corner by his Cuban
coach. Suriya had accounted for Joseph Lubega of Uganda and Javid
Taghiyev of Azerbaijan on his way to the quarter finals. The contest
went nip and tuck for the first couple of rounds with the scores
11-11 but Oleg was eliminated when Suriya edged ahead. Scores 28-22
at the finish.
Semi-Finals: Friday 27th August
Musical Chairs Take Three
Down to the final four and in sight of the the Holy Grail, an
Olympic Games Gold Medal, Suriya came up against Gaydarbek
Gaydarbekov from Russia the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Silver
Medallist and current European Champion. Suriya allowed Gaydarbek to
take an early narrow lead and then found the mountain to steep to
climb when Gaydarbek skilfully countered his concerted attacks going
Our congratulations to Suriya on winning an Olympic Games Bronze
The Final: Saturday 28th August
Look Ma Top of the World
And now there were two. Gaydarbekov's opponent was World Champion
Gennardiy Golovkin from Kazakhstan who had received a first round
bye then outpointed Ali Ahmed Khan of Pakistan 31-10, Ramadan Yasser
of Egypt 31-20, and Andre Dirrell of the USA 23-18. In his last bout
against southpaw boxer Andre he had shown he was a shrewd master of
closing down an opponent and the contest when holding a winning
lead. In the third round of that Semi-Final he played both opponent
and referee who in trying to allow the boxers to box out of the
clinches failed to realise that Gennardiy had no intention of doing
so, being content to simply waltz forward and backward with Andre
who was trying as hard as he could to extricate himself. The simple
command 'Break' would have sufficed to stop the match from
deteriorating into a dancing contest and also stopped Gennardiy's
tactic. In the final against Gaydarbek, Gennardiy took a 6-2 first
round lead but was unable to close the contest down losing the
second 6-4 then the third 10-3 and was completely closed out himself
when Gaydarbek took the last 10-5 for a a total 28-18 Gold Medal
winning point score.
Our journey in following a young boxer along the hard road to reach
the pinnacle of fistic art an Olympic Games Gold Medal has come to
an end in the crowning of Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov from Russia who
second time round achieved his final goal.
Athens 2004 Olympic Games
Middleweight Boxing Champion
& Gold Medallist
The World Salutes and FarewellsYou!
GOLDEN GLOVES BOXING®
'Golden Gloves Excessive Punching Rule'©
'Excessive Punching Rule'©
places the objective and focus of Boxing directly on defence
and point scoring skills. Modernizing the sport by eliminating
the primitive outdated Old Style rules that allow contestants to
punch opponents into complete unconsciousness.
Academy of Boxing,
5A Sawyer Street,
The Original Academy
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