A 29-year-old man diagnosed with cerebral palsy fulfilled his dream of joining a professional boxing competition when he signed up in Shanghai on September 13, Tencent News reported.
Wang Qiang, originally from Tianjin, had been preparing for his first competition for the past 17 years.
Wang was born prematurely and had to stay in the hospital for 35 days to receive emergency medical treatment. The infant managed to survived after fighting cerebral hemorrhaging, jaundice and pneumonia.
Recently, with the aid of Hang Hongxiang, a coach from the WBO, Wang was able to join the boxing competition and completed his first-ever professional boxing game.
Wang has been boxing for 17 years and owns a boxing training center in his hometown in Tianjin.
Boxing is especially difficult for someone with cerebral palsy because it’s so physically demanding and requires extreme coordination. That never stopped Wang, who started practicing at the age of 12. At the beginning of his practice, Wang’s father had to clutch his arm and hold his legs to help him finish the basic training. By the time he was 18 years old, he mastered some basic skills.
In 2009, Wang had written down a short letter in his personal blog: “Hello, my boxing King, Zou Shiming. My name is Wang Qing, a boxer with cerebral palsy. Today, I want to give you my letter of challenge. It doesn’t mean I don’t respect you or don’t admire you. The fact is I hope I can prove myself in the boxing ring.”
Wang says he was turned down many times when trying to enter competitions, although he always tried to tell other boxers that they wouldn’t be held liable if they injured him. Most people involved with the competition believed that cerebral palsy patients were not suitable to join, and no players agreed to compete with him.
Since last year, Wang has been coached by Hang Hongxiang. He felt closer to his dream with Hang’s guidance. He took a one-month training session in Shanghai then went back to Tianjin and kept practicing with videos that were provided by Hang.
When Hang learned that a boxing competition was to be held in Shanghai in September, he helped Wang get the chance to enter. Hang admitted that the requirements of the competition were too high for Wang, but it was difficult for him to turn his friend away.
Wang arrived in Shanghai one month ahead of the the competition. He went to Jiexiang Club to join the training every day.
Wang and his parents temporarily lived in a two-bed, 20 square-meter room. The 130 RMB per day rent was still quite draining on Wang’s family, who’d spent all their savings on his medical cares. His father is the sole bread earner. His mother quit her job to take care of Wang long time ago.
Besides practicing boxing, Wang passes his time by surfing the internet and chatting with friends on QQ.
A day before the competition, Wang plays cards with his parents to relax a bit.
Wang still practiced boxing one night before the competition.
While he was waiting to join the competition, he practiced with another fighter.
Wang joins his first-ever competition.
Wang reacts more slowly than normal people, so he often takes punches. When he gets the chance to fight back, he isn’t afraid to push his opponents close to the ring and punch back.
The first session was over. His coach and mother seized the time to give him some pep talks and instruction.
Wang lost the competition, but for his parents, it’s was a success because he was able to complete the entire competition. His mother wiped off his sweat while his father gave him encouragement after the game.
Wang is seen holding the medal in his mouth and smiling. His dream of becoming a professional boxer continues.
By Lucy Liu
[ Images via Tencent news ]