Czech Boxing Association on EUBC15 June 2016
The official history of the Czech Boxing Association started on the 1st January 1993 after the split of Czechoslovakia. But the real history of boxing is dated much earlier when Joe Jahelka came back from USA after the World War I. The Czechoslovakian Pro Boxers Union was settled in 1921. After seven years since that the first Czech boxer named Jan Hermanek won silver Olympics medal in Amsterdam. Julius Torma was the first boxer from Czechoslovakia who became an Olympics champion (London, 1948). Jan Zachara (gold in Helsinky in 1942), Bohumil Nemecek(gold in Rome in 1960), Josef Nemec (bronze in Rome in 1960), Jan Franek (bronze in Moscow in 1980) and Rudolf Kraj (silver in Sydney in 2000) were other Czechoslovakian boxers who won Olympics medals. Since that the Czech Republic is still waiting for such a success.
There are about 600 active boxers in The Czech Republic. They are competing in Extra-league, which is a team competition with the tradition since 1965. There are not so many top boxers and financial background to be part of WSB, but there is a Czech club BC BigBoard Praha which is a part of the German league (1. Bundesliga) since last season. Czech Boxing Association is trying to build a strong international cooperation. They have great relationship not only with Deutscher Boxsport-Verband, but also with Slovak Boxing Federation. And they are trying to develop friendship also with other European national federations.
The Czech Republic hosts two EUBC international events which you can find in the EUBC calendar. Grand Prix in Usti nad Labem is the biggest one and has a great tradition since 1968. This elite men tournament welcomed many world and Olympic champions.
Memorial of Julius Torma, who was the Olympics winner, is the second EUBC official event in The Czech Republic. The 25 th Memorial of Julis Torma international tournament takes place in Prague from 8 th to 11 th September 2016. It is a Youth Men tournament, but this year there will be also four Elite Women weights (48, 54, 60, and 64 kg). Women´s boxing is very popular in The Czech Republic. Martina Schmoranzova is two times bronze European medalist. But we have many more promising women so the national federation is trying to encourage them by organizing a tournament for women during the Julius Torma Tournament this year.
The new history of the Czech Boxing Association is connected with the name Svatopluk Zacek. He was a very good boxer (bronze medalist from European championship in 1977), but also very successful coach. He was a national head coach when Michal Franek, Ladislav Husarik, Tibor Rafael, Lukas Konecny and Rudolf Kraj become medalist at European and World Championships including the Olympic silver medal. Since 2010 Svatopluk Zacek is the President of the Czech Boxing Association. He met with his most successful boxer again, when Rudolf Kraj ended his pro boxing career and was elected a Vice-president of the Czech Boxing Association.
The representatives of the Czech Boxing Association welcome the changes in AIBA boxing. The removal of the headguards encouraged the popularity of our extraleague and galanights of AIBA boxing. “We welcome the possibility to send pro boxers to Olympic games in Rio. We for sure nominate minimum one profi boxer to Olympic qualification in Venezuela. We are also hoping that AIBA opens the sport of boxing to athletes with an experience in other individual combat sports and we will welcome new talented members in Czech Boxing Association which will follow in the tradition started after the World War I”, says Svatopluk Zacek.