Happy New Year 2023 to the Global Boxing Family!

It is a great honor and pleasure to welcome year 2023 together as World Boxing Family.

I take this opportunity to thank MBA Board Members, Committee members, Commissioners, Promoters, Managers, Ring Officials and our beloved boxers and fighters for their critical role they have played in the success of this noble sport of boxing staying alive in 2022.

This new year 2023, is all about you and what you are planning to achieve in your respective role in the sport of boxing. Your dedication is an example to all of us.

The MBA as a boxing entity, with a vision to be the leading sanctioning boxing in the Europe and the world, strives for the quality and grit that you display through your work.

Last year, we were excited about our output under very strenuous circumstances. This is indicative of our resilience and tenacity to progress irrespective of the challenges we faced.

Dear Global Boxing, allow me to address THE QUEST FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE SPORT OF BOXING

According to Plato, a Greek Philosopher who lived in 428-347 BC “Excellence” is not a gift but a skill that takes practice. We do not act “rightly” because we are “excellent”. In fact, we achieve “excellence” by acting “rightly”.

You will earn many successes throughout life. Each success will be a meteor-like streak in the sky. Here today, gone tomorrow.

But excellence is forever, and it outlasts success. To achieve a type of excellence that gets at genuine value, we have to go beyond “pleasure” and “status”, but we can’t leave pleasure and status behind entirely.

Thanks to this type of excellence incorporates our physical and social needs, but goes beyond them, approaching value itself as an abstract ideal.

To get there, a balance is needed, but what does that balance look like? Plato guides on how to achieve excellence in 5 points:

  1. Find a good social environment. To be excellent at something, you need comfort, respect and time to develop your talents. Wherever possible, pick jobs, friends and partners who fit what you’re trying to do.
  2. Distribute your time judiciously. Make a distinction between growth and recovery, and make sure you use your free time in a balanced way.
  3. Acquire an education that suits you. Don’t get discouraged if you’ve had trouble in educational environments that weren’t oriented around your craft.
  4. Develop your creativity. Articulate your own sense of what it means to do your craft well – even if it goes against received wisdom.
  5. Contemplate your work. It’s crucial to give yourself space from your labour. Take a break from trying to be excellent and instead reflect on what excellence really means.

Why it matters and what is its relevance to today’s global boxing?

Achieving excellence for the first time is only the beginning and it needs to be shared with others.

Another Philosopher (Aristotle a student of Plato) draws a distinction between ‘contemplation’ and ‘action’.

When we contemplate, we think about what’s good, and what it means to apply the good to a craft. When we act, we apply these ideas of the good to our craft. In this way, we share the good with others through our craft.

Our craft becomes our medium for expressing excellence, our way of bringing our understanding of the good to life in the world around us.

Of course, when we act, we act in front of an audience. When we perform a craft, we make something for others to experience. This means that, once we begin acting, other people get a chance to decide for themselves whether they think we’ve really found a new and better way of reaching for the good, of expressing excellence.

I have shared the teaching of Plato and Aristotle on excellence for two reasons:

  1. First is to advise you that each and everyone of us can be excellent in some domain. We just need to identify the domain and nurture it.
  2. Second is that I request each and everyone of you to pledge that as the result of this conversation you will identify a domain over which you will develop excellence in case you have not done so.

I wish you happy new year 2023.

Marc E. L James
President of Malta Boxing (Professional) Association

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