Lyons Brook boxer loses third bout in Kazkhstan
ALMATY, Kazakhstan – Looking back at his three bouts at the AIBA world amateur boxing championships and what he did to prepare for them, boxer Brody Blair has no regrets about what he did to prepare or his efforts in the ring.
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Brody Blair, right, and Sanjin-Pol Vrgoc of Croatia congratulate each other after their bout to open the AIBA world amateur boxing championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Blair won his first two bouts before falling in the round of 16 to Zolton Harsca of Hungary.
“I wouldn't change a thing about how I prepared for this,” he said in an e-mail interview with The News. “I trained extremely hard each day. I felt ready and confident in myself and I had some great sparring and a lot of pad work. We had a two-week training camp in Germany where the coach pushed us to be our best and I have no regrets about anything.
“I’m keeping positive and moving on for the future.”
Blair opened the event with victories over Sanjin-Pol Vrgoc of Croatia and Mahmoud Shabab of Palestine before falling 3-0 (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) to Zolton Harsca of Hungary. He said Vrgoc was a shorter boxer so he tried to keep him outside and use straighter and longer punches, which proved to work well. Shabab was closer to Blair’s height. According to him, Shabab was a little strange to box against.
“He was an awkward guy to fight because he leaned back and threw punches from very strange angles, but I kept the centre of the ring and my jab, which worked great.”
He said Harsca liked to control the pace of the match and that he couldn’t completely overcome him, but was happy with how he countered his attack.
“He was an extremely well balanced boxer and he liked to try to control the pace and use long punches so I tried to pressure him and get on the inside,” said Blair. “He is a great fighter and I wish him luck with the rest of the tournament. I made it to top 16 in the world at the biggest tournament of my boxing career yet I feel like I performed the way my coach wanted me to. I just have to keep moving forward, keep positive and enjoy every moment.”
Fighting without headgear was a new experience for him. He could see more clearly, but also felt the punches a little more.
“I really liked fighting without headgear because I found that I could see more in the ring,” said Blair. “I could see every punch and every movement he made. I loved it, but you can definitely tell when you and your opponent hit head now it's a little less subtle than with head gear.”
He said the experience of being at the event and up against these boxers was something he won’t forget anytime soon. Blair added that he couldn’t have done it without his friends and family who have supported him in the sport for so long.
“The experience here was amazing,” he said. “I fought three fights at my first world championship at 21 years old. I'm extremely proud of myself and my team, and would like to thank everyone who supported me through this tournament. Everyone has been so helpful. I love doing what I do and I'm so happy that people are behind me pushing me to the next stage of my journey. I leave this tournament more experienced and grateful for the life I live. It's not an easy world I live in but I wouldn't have it any other way.”
“I learned that I have the best support group behind me win or lose and they will always be there for me. I'm going to keep pushing harder and harder each day keeping focused on what I want and what I believe in.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris