Kasparov, Lin Dan, Bata Reyes, and Pacman, Anyone?
There is no sport today that is more demanding than boxing. The boxer does not only need a superb body. His body must not also be the most conditioned one. Conditioned one?
That could be an understatement in the brutal sport of boxing. Because, aside from having that normal stamina to last the distance (say, like the marathon), the boxer has to withstand the killer blows by his opponent. No wonder, today's boxing champions are also admired by other sportsman in other fields.
Chess needs brains to succeed—in a 90 percent to 10 percent ratio on strategy versus physical needs? Of course, physical stamina also is necessary, but compared with other sports, such a ratio could be expected from the sport. Badminton needs brains to be successful. Perhaps in the 70 percent to 30 percent ratio for a strategy to shots ratio.
Most badminton players on the beginners and intermediate levels might disagree, especially those who have been playing the game but have not progressed to the advanced level. They have not realized this yet. And if they do, they will improve their game tremendously.
Billiards, like badminton, displays the skills of the player. And strategy comes in handy too. But boxing is entirely a different level. Not only is the sport so exhausting delivering punches, moving around in circles avoiding the opponents attacks, etc. The boxer has to withstand the opponents punches as well.
Thus, the most demanding of all the sports appears to be boxing. But I am sure, UFC and MMA disciples will raise that protest sooner than most of the sane world would accept.
But come to think about it, unlike boxing, where the loser will have to win by a decision or stoppage, the UFC and MMA practitioners can win via submission. In such a way, the losing player has his features and dentures still intact with very minimal damage to his physical body!
The Filipino sportsman has made his mark on these sports, save perhaps in badminton, where the same is lagging behind the world's power. But perhaps, in the coming decades, the Philippines might produce its truly first internationally rated players in the top 10. But for now, let us just be content with the Asuncions and Velezes, who once in a while, score a minor point or two. Kudos to the Pacman, you make us proud to be Filipinos!