Kolkowski: “Tactics will evolve”

We talk to Hussars Poland CEO Jarek Kolkowski about the tactical implications of the shift to ten weight categories in Season IV.

The move to 10 weight categories has been widely welcomed by boxers and boxing media outlets why do you think that is?
Both boxers and journalists realize that this is an opportunity for WSB to grow, to include more talented athletes and to form a solid pillar of AIBA’s new boxing era. Five weight categories left too many boxers out of the spotlight and the WSB used to be perceived as an interesting “half amateur half pro” boxing idea. 10 weight categories will change it. In fact, they will make the WSB what it has been designed for – an innovative form of promoting and developing Olympic boxing.

Are there any boxers on your team who will specifically benefit from this change (who and how)?
There are at least two I can think of: Mateusz Tryc (81kg) and Dawid Michelus (56kg). They both experimented with their natural weight categories and it negatively affected their boxing. The former tried to box as a middleweight (73kg) but it weakened him a lot. On the other hand, he was too small for the old WSB light heavyweight division (85kg) which was filled with natural heavyweights (91kg). Dawid Michelus started at the old WSB light weight (61kg) but he did not have the stamina to stand up against naturally bigger boxers for five rounds. It changed when he went down to the bantam weight (54kg). But then again cutting was very exhausting. Now, Dawid will have a chance to show his best boxing at his natural weight.

Conversely are there any boxers who will be disappointed and why? (e.g. they liked the challenge or the catch weight actually suited them better).
I do not think there are any. Maybe Sergei Kuzmin but we have not yet spoken about it. We’ll see.

From a management point of view how does this affect how the team will be run and how boxers will be selected for bouts?
Actually, it is not the weight categories alone which affect the way the team will be run. A lot depends on the calendar which, obviously, results from this fundamental change. The bottom line is that it will probably make our lives easier as the boxers will have more time to rest and recover. In consequence, their boxing abilities should increase.

Are there any weight categories that you now have to many or few boxers in?
I am sure no team has too many good boxers. There are never enough of them. And who would like to talk about their team’s shortcomings?

Do you feel that this will affect the overall dynamics of teams within the WSB, for example are there any teams who will be particularly affected (for better or worse) because of this change?
Theoretically, it might be harder for Argentina and Mexico because they do not have that many heavy boxers. However, this is the WSB so they will probably reach out for international boxers

Boxers will be drawn into C1 and C2 groups depending on their weights. Is there a possibility for some teams that one group will become more successful than the other? If so could it be a problem and what can be done to manage it?
I have no doubt that this will be exactly the case. But I do not see it as a problem. We have to remember that WSB is a team competition. Therefore, one cannot forget about tactics. Our team is the best example of this. We have never had what you might call a “balanced” team. Thus, we had to choose boxers and matches carefully in order not to lose points. It paid off. I am pretty sure we could not have qualified to the quarterfinals last season, had we not thought of winning matches rather than single bouts.