Thu, 26 Oct 2000

Amateur boxer La Paene mulls professional career

JAKARTA (JP): One of Indonesia's best amateur boxers, La Paene Masara, said on Monday he would consider a professional boxing career if he did not find a job in the next few months.

"I have to take care of my wife and daughter, and being an amateur boxer does not provide me enough money to support my family," he said.

He was speaking to reporters at the office of the Indonesian Amateur Boxing Association (Pertina) after pleading with officials of the boxing body to help him resolve his problem.

He said officials of the Jakarta chapter of Pertina had promised him a job.

"But it seems they are reluctant to fulfill the promise because I was not part of Jakarta's boxing team for the National Games," the flyweight said.

Pertina did not allow him to take part in the National Games in Surabaya because he was training for the Sydney Olympics.

La Paene reached the second round in Sydney, a disappointment following the previous Olympics, where he advanced to the quarterfinals.

"Actually, the Jakarta Sports Agency hired me part-time. But I don't know whether I'm still on the payroll or not because I missed work for quite a while during my preparations for the Olympics," said La Paene.

He said he received Rp 500,000 (US$56) a month from Pertina. "How can we live a proper life with that amount of money?" he asked.

He also said North Jakarta Mayor Subagio had promised to find him a job, but nothing had come of this.

"I tried to meet Pak Subagio several times but he was never in the office," said La Paene.

La Paene said several promoters had offered him an opportunity to turn professional. "If Pertina can't give me a proper job, I think I will have to enter professional boxing. I'm interested in the proposal of one of the promoters, Aswin Cabuy."

Aswin is a former amateur boxer who competed in the welterweight class.

"Actually, I don't really like the promoters because they only care about money, not the welfare of the boxers," La Paene added. (nvn)