PETALING JAYA: Malaysia are hoping to end a six-year gold medal drought in SEA Games boxing.
But the Malaysia Amateur Boxing Federation (MABF) secretary, Maulud Othman, admitted that it would be a tall order for their six-man team to get one in Korat in December.
“Thailand are the powerhouse in this sport. But we are confident one of our men will be in the final,” said Maulud yesterday.
The team comprise Mohd Zamzai Azizi (48kg), Eddy Kalai (57kg) Paunandes Paulus (60kg), Mohd Ali Abdul Karim (61kg), Mohd Farhan Harun (69kg) and Zulkarnain Mustaffa (75kg).
“Our boxers are no pushovers. We have a team of experienced boxers and new hands and they have the ability to get among the medallists,” said Maulud of the team who are now in centralised training under the charge of Kalen Asanov from Kyrgyzstan and Ramli Yahya.
Malaysia last won gold at the KL Games in 2001 through Zainuddin Siddi and Adnan Yusoh. At the 2003 Vietnam Games, Malaysia managed only a bronze and in their last outing in Manila in 2005, Zamzai, Eddy and Paunandes were bronze medallists.
Zamzai, the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, is the most experienced boxer in the team. He also took bronze in the 2001 SEA Games. In 2005, he was the gold medallist in the Kyrgyzstan Open and bronze medallist in the Kazakhstan Open.