Being a prizefighter has long-been the dream of Wang Qiang, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in 1986 aged just 1 year old.
Wang, 33, from Beichen District of north China’s Tianjin Municipality, is different from other patients with cerebral palsy featuring abnormal muscle tone, reflexes or motor coordination.
After decades of boxing exercise and intelligence training, Wang is robust and able to talk slowly.
“We were stunned with the diagnosis.” said Liu Huiqin, Wang’s mother, when recalling those dark days. Wang was a premature infant with encephalorrhagia, jaundice and pneumonia, who was brought back to life after 35-days of emergency treatment. Unfortunately, Wang’s brain was critically damaged.
Since then, Wang’s parents have sought treatments in nearly all Tianjin’s hospitals and consultations with experienced folk massage therapists. With four to five hours full-body massage every day, accompanying language training, Wang’s physical condition and language ability improved gradually.
“One day, when I came home, my son tried his best to say ‘M…M…Mom.’ Mom was the only word Wang said until the age of 7,” Liu said.
Wang’s parents were eager to send him to a normal school rather than one for special education.” In the following two years, Wang learned primary math and puzzle games to cultivate his thinking ability. Finally, aged 9, Wang was admitted by a normal primary school.
However, some of his schoolmates bullied and teased Wang for his unusual physical condition. Wang wanted a life of dignity, so at 12-years-old he started learning boxing.
As a police boxing coach before, Wang’s father became his teacher. “He needs to practice hundreds of times even for simple skills and movements,” Wang’s father said.
Shadowboxing and hitting the heavy bag for hours every day, Wang gradually improved in speed, power, endurance, accuracy and strategy under the tailored schedule made by his father.
With a dozen years of boxing training, Wang was eager to become a prizefighter. On September 2014, Wang’s dream came true.
Standing on the boxing ring under the limelight, Wang filtered out the shouts and cheers from the audience. “The opponent is my only target. Go and fight!” Wang said to himself to cope with his nervousness.
Although Wang lost his first professional fight, he didn’t give up, and the success finally came in a national boxing championship three months later.
“This is the first time I have ranked first in a professional boxing championship,” Wang said, remembering the feeling when held a champion’s trophy for the first time.
Wang established a boxing club in 2009 and enrolled nine students from all over the country.
Liu Haipeng, one of his students, said it was his story that inspired him to become a boxer. “His perseverance touches me a lot,” Liu said.
“I will devote my whole life to boxing. And I hope to expand the scale of my club and teach more boxing lovers.” Wang said. Enditem