Long-term strategy for boxing rivals

Daniel Jalil (left) faces off Jason Chua   in The Roar of Singapore II.
Daniel Jalil (left) faces off Jason Chua in The Roar of Singapore II.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Tonight's 56kg eliminator match between Danial Abdul Jalil and Jason Chua is not just a battle to earn the ticket to represent Singapore at August's Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, it will also be a clash of the boxers' different fighting styles.

The 25-year-olds will get in the ring for this evening's only amateur bout of The Roar of Singapore II, held at the Resorts World Sentosa.

Chua, who weighed in at 54.6kg yesterday morning, is looking to capitalise on smart movement in the ring.

The Legends Fight Sport trainee said: "I have a higher ring IQ; I'm smarter. That's why I'm going to hit him and still not get hit by him. Danial (can only come) forward. I can move to the back, side and front.

"He's stronger and I cannot deny that. He's maybe even fitter than me. I'm not going to fight like I used to fight - head-to-head with someone. If he wants to fight (at close quarters), I'm not going to be stupid and let my face get hit often."

Danial, a Kadir's Boxing School student who specialises in combat at close quarters, is ready to adapt. Said the 55.9kg fighter: "If he decides to go into a close fight with me, I'll obviously be at an advantage. If he out-boxes me, I'll just have to change to a different game plan and approach."

With the SEA Games berth up for grabs, both boxers ramped up their training in anticipation of a shot at medal glory in Kuala Lumpur. Danial worked on his technique and sparring twice a day while Chua added twice-daily running sessions to his regimen.

But Danial is aiming for a stage that is even higher than the SEA Games. He revealed: "I'm actually aiming to go to the Olympics. If not, at least the Asian Games. The first part of the plan is the SEA Games, after which it would be Asian Games, then Commonwealth Games and so on."

Similarly, Chua is looking to use the SEA Games as a springboard to bigger things. He said: "Honestly, the SEA Games to me is just a small beginning. What I'm looking forward to is the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. If I'm lucky, I'll even go to the Olympics."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2017, with the headline 'Long-term strategy for boxing rivals'. Print Edition | Subscribe