The Fiji Amateur Boxing Association says poor footwork is a common weakness that needs to be improved among local boxers.
National coach Cam Todd says he has set out a clear strategy to overcome this, beginning from the junior boxing grades.
“Just balancing footwork, that’s crucial in boxing and that’s an area where we need to improve. I need to work with the coaches to help as well so that we can get them at a young age because it’s much harder to teach an elite boxer basic footwork. When they go overseas, that’s the real difference. Fijians are as strong as anybody, if they hit you, then they are going to hurt you but if they can’t get across the ring to deliver the punch, then that’s a major problem.”
Todd says his main concern is that local fighters are imitating the footwork and fighting styles of professional and international boxers.
“These pros have been around for a long time so they have learnt their craft and can add a bit of flair to their boxing whereas in Fiji and most countries, when you are an amateur, you’re learning a sport, you need to learn the basic tools. Just because you have a driver’s license doesn’t mean you can do Formula One racing straight away.”
Todd says he hopes to get the basics right within the amateur boxing fraternity before fighters make the step up to the professional level.