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Jakarta Post

Indonesian Ongen takes leap of faith for boxing career

  • Ramadani Saputra

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Sun, November 3, 2019   /  10:25 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Indonesian boxers Daud Yordan (left) and Ongen Saknosiwi speak to journalists during a press conference in Jakarta on Oct. 22 to talk about their preparations for their respective matches in the Mahkota Boxing Sunday Vaganza on Nov. 17 in Batu, Malang, East Java.(JP/Anggie Angela)

With only Rp 5,000 (35 US cents) in his pocket in 2011, Ongen Saknosiwi dared himself to take a leap of faith, leaving his home island of Maluku for Tangerang in Banten for the first time to pursue a boxing career. He was 17 years old at that time and chose not to tell his parents about his departure. The Tangerang trip was not Ongen’s first travel experience. His first was when he left his family, which resides on Buru Island – a 30-minute flight from Maluku’s capital Ambon – to enroll in SMAN 4 state high school in Ambon in 2008. As soon as Ongen finished school, he received an opportunity from a boxing talent scout, the late Wiem Sapulette, to go to Tangerang, Banten for a career. He accepted the opportunity, but he did not immediately tell his parents about the plan as he was concerned they would be too worried to allow him to go. However, Ongen sa...