After two very successful seasons, World Series of Boxing is delighted to welcome new franchises this year . One of them will be based in Poland, a true boxing country. Just a few days before the official draw and draft of the 2012/2013 season, worldseriesboxing.com speaks to Jaroslaw Kolkowski, General Manager of the Polish Hussars.
First of all, welcome to World Series of Boxing…
Thank you very much. We are very happy and honoured to join the league. It demonstrates our commitment to the development of the sport of boxing in Poland. We are excited to prove that our country is important on the boxing landscape.
Can you tell us more about your franchise’s name: the Hussars?
This name was invented by boxing fans who took part in a nation-wide contest. The winners will be announced in October. The person who invented the name will receive boxing gloves signed by all members of our team and an invitation for two to the home match of his choice. A draw will also award ten participants with tickets for the first home match in Poland. The idea of the contest was simple. We wanted Polish fans to feel involved in creating the team from the very beginning. It seemed quite natural. The team represents Poland and fights for the Polish fans. So it is our duty to listen to them.
Where does your logo come from? What was the thinking behind it?
“Hussars” was a name of cavalry units used by many European armies. The name comes from Hungary. In the 16th and 17th centuries, hussars formed an elite part of the Polish army. The most renowned divisions consisted of heavy armed horsemen wearing distinctive wings on their backs. They were a symbol of Poland’s greatness.
Our logo combines historic and boxing symbols to convey a powerful message. The logo’s boxer looks strong and dynamic but at the same time he is very technical. His position, moved a little to the left, suggests that he is stable leaning on his back leg – a classic orthodox stance. One cannot miss the wings he is wearing – just like the famous hussars did. This is to remind everybody that the boxers of the team are the elite – just like the hussars were.
How are the preparations going?
Intensively. We have got a lot of work including selecting boxers, buying boxing equipment and preparing the training facility.
Do you have a model of development in the league?
Needless to say we want our team to be the best. However, we do realise how strong the other teams are. Therefore, our main goal is to gain experience in order to win medals at the most important AIBA boxing tournaments including European Championships, World Championships and, ultimately, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Hence, we will hire international boxers only exceptionally in order to complete the team. In 2016, the team should consist of Polish boxers the majority of whom would be European and World Championships medallists.
Tell us about the squad. Have you already signed some big names?
Yes. But it needs to remain secret as we want to present the whole team during a press conference in October.
Would you be interested in bringing Michal Olas back “home”?
This is the only part of the secret I can reveal because it is obvious… Michal Olas is already home and will not be going anywhere.
What does Hubert Migaczew, your coach, have to bring to your team?
Hubert is young, ambitious and very passionate. He’s got great communications skills. The boxers trust him and follow his directions but he never tries to change a boxer’s natural style. On the contrary, he is always able to find a way to improve that particular style and to bring out the best in the boxer.
Can you reveal in which cities you will be fighting?
It has not been fully decided yet. Naturally, one of them will be Warsaw because it is the capital city of Poland and our training facility is located there. Other cities we are thinking of are Poznan, Gdansk, Koszalin and Katowice.
What are your objectives for this season?
I don’t want to put too much pressure on the team. Our boxers will give their very best to quickly get experience in the competition. However we know that a first season in any sport is always complicated. You have to learn first. It will not be a failure if we do not reach the playoffs. For the moment we just think of giving our fans the best possible show.
Your arrival in the AIBA Family includes the birth of a WSB Franchise, but also the commitment of the Polish Boxing Association to launch the AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) in the country as well…
It may sound like a paradox but it will be much easier to launch APB than WSB in Poland. Pro boxing has a lot of fans in the country. It is one of the most popular sports. However, we are happy to bring another kind of pro boxing, without the usual problems caused by sanctioning bodies. We will offer clear and merit based rankings, fights between two top boxers… Not a competition that is decided in advance by promoters. I am sure APB will become a very attractive sport but also entertainment in Poland.