Olympic boxers can count on Basi when he officiates at the Games
PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 June 2012
Referee Mik Basi has packed his all-white outfit and crossed the globe many times visiting countries you’ve hardly heard of to act as the third man in the boxing ring.
Last week it was almost a ‘local’ trip to Italy compared with other journeys in the last couple of years when he has been to Kazakhstan, Turkey, Italy, India, South Korea, Mexico, USA, Estonia, Uzbekistan, Russia, Germany, Azerbaijan, Thailand, Bulgaria, Sweden and Norway.
However, his proudest moment will come next month when he steps into the ring at the ExCel Centre in Docklands to act as an official at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Ever since the day it was announced that the Olympics were coming to London, he has been hoping that he would get the call to act as an official at the 2012 boxing tournament.
That call arrived last week and the local boxing official summed up his feelings: “To be named as an official at the Olympics being held in the borough where I grew up is something really special,” said the 46-year-old.
His brother Jumbo, also a top class referee, spoke for the Basi family, Fairbairn BC and the local boxing community when he said: “It’s marvellous news, we are all so happy and proud of him.”
Within hours of the news being announced, congratulations were coming from clubs all over the London area. One of the first was from Dagenham BC’s Danny O’Sullivan, already appointed as an offical Olympic announcer at the boxing tournament at the massive ExCel centre.
He said: “It’s an appointment that is totally deserved. Mik has worked his way up and proved himself at every level over the past 20 years.
“He has been appointed at every major international boxing championship – receiving many awards along the way,” he added.
‘Dagger Dan’ was also happy to anounce that Mik had accepted an invitation to referee at the Dagenham Boxing club show being held at Dagenham and Redbridge Football club tomorrow night (Thursday) – their first show at the venue in almost a decade.
“He will be refereeing at our Olympic-themed show on June 7 – even celebrity status doesn’t stop him from helping out at grassroots level,” confirmed the Dagenham official.
Then, six weeks later, it will be the big one ‘just down the road’ at the ExCel centre where he has already worked at the Olympic test tournament.
It is in the same borough where he was born in Forest Gate and where he attended Hartley Junior school and Trinity Secondary school in Canning Town before taking his O and A levels at East Ham College.
It was as an 11-year-old in Newham that he followed his big brother Jumbo to box in the colours of Fairbairn House BC, then based in Plaistow, where he won schoolboy titles.
The pair were popular and successful members at the club and after hanging up their gloves both decided to put something back in the sport taking ABA judges and refereeing courses.
The brothers proved their ability at hundreds of shows around East London and the Essex suburbs – obviously not always pleasing everybody, but being respected as firm, but fair in their judgement.
They progressed up the ladder and were appointed at championship tournaments and then international events at home and abroad where they proved first class ambassadors of the sport.
As well as their boxing interest which have continued at the Fairbairn club, now based in Connaught Lane, Ilford, the brothers share a business partnership.
They are directors of the family business Bas1 Embroidery and Printing Limited at Manor Way Business centre, Rainham.
They have been kept busy over the years working sometimes several nights a week at tournaments large and small, because of the dire shortage of boxing officials.
Younger brother Mik made his mark on the international scene working as an AIBA referee and judge all over the world at various events, more than once being named as the ‘outstanding official’ at the end of tournaments.
He has had a prominent role at the new ‘World Series of Boxing,’ a newly-introduced event designed to bridge the amateur and pro sport which has proved popular in big cities around the world.
With such an impressive CV, it’s no surprise to anybody that the call arrived, confirming he will follow in the Olympic footsteps of another local referee Billy Phillips, who boxed at Stepney’s Arbour Youth club and later became a chairman at Barking BC.
Phillips also graduated from small local tournaments on to the international scene, before earning his call for the 2008 Beijing tournament, the first GB official for many years to get Games selection.
Phillips, who lives in Hornchurch and has since stepped down from the amateur boxing circuit, recalled: “It was good to be the first home official for 20 years to be appointed to officiate at the Olympic Games.
“But I always knew we would not have to wait that long for another – I have watched Mik Basi develop from local club shows to top international tournaments and I knew he would get the call for the London Games.
“Good luck to him, he deserves it and I am sure the Olympics will be an experience he will never forget.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.