Thursday, September 07, 2017

Boxing is a Chess Match

I am sharing to you this article from Rappler - " For Arthur Villanueva, boxing is a chess match" about Boxing Champion Arthur Villanueva whose first role model was Kasparov. It also gives us insight that, for him, chess is much more difficult sport compared to boxing.

Here is an excerpt from the article which I think should be shared with our fellow chess enthusiasts:

"Villanueva's first battlefield wasn't the gym or the schoolyard, but rather the chess board.

In the days before he was rated the no. 3 contender in the world at junior bantamweight by the World Boxing Organization, Villanueva was a constant fixture at inner-city chess tournaments in the Negros Occidental town of Bago City, Philippines. Villanueva competed from elementary to high school, winning four medals.

His greatest achievement, he says, was coming in second place in a tournament in 2004 against the best the city had to offer. 'I trained for so many months for that tournament,' said Villanueva, as he cooled down from a gym session Wednesday afternoon at Elorde Gym along Gilmore in San Juan, Manila.

His first role model wasn't 'Flash' Elorde or Manny Pacquiao, but rather Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, whose Sicilian defense methods Villanueva tried hard to emulate.

Villanueva, now 25, is the second youngest of 12 children, and when his father died in 2004 leaving his homemaker mother to raise the family, Arthur had some tough decisions to make.

To finance his schooling, Villanueva began driving a tricycle at the age of 12, making as much as 100 pesos ($2.50 USD) a day for books and lunch money. And as the realities of poverty began to sink in, boxing seemed like a more plausible way to make ends meet.

'It's very hard in chess compared to boxing,' said Villanueva (24-0, 14 knockouts), who fights Fernando Aguilar (9-6, 1 KOs) of Mexico City on Saturday night at Solaire Resort in Pasay City, Philippines. 'There's so many masters in chess, so I can't think I can be a world champion in chess. So I changed my profession.' "

No comments: