Rostislav Osička

* 1956

  • “There was the revolution in 1989 and I had the first private boxing school in the country. I stared my own business immediately and I was approached by these two cowboys, who claimed they wanted to have big matches at the Lucerna. They asked me for help, for my know-how, my name, and they said they had the money. They had none though. It was all pretence. They were boxers but they were after money. They invited a dozen of Russian boxers, including the Olympic winner Yanovsky. They were cheaters. Boxers, but they were after money. Sparring was arranged. I asked whether they had money for it and they answered in the positive. A friend of mine, a butcher and a former weightlifter, lent me CZK 200,000. It was much money then. I gave it to them without any receipts, they took the money, bought fancy suits, drove in limousines, even had their own chauffeur. Well, I was cheated like an idiot.”

  • “Now I’m reading the philosopher Blaise Pascal, my idol. I know about him from my daughter who studies philosophy at the university. There’s something in him similar to me, something close to me since I, too, think by heart not by brain. When I start thinking, it’s sometimes too late. Sometimes I get cheated and the man knows it, I too feel it like that but do it nevertheless, by heart. And Pascal too – he has a heart, feeling, empathy. For instance Milan Machovec, a philosopher I like, I had planned to see him in hospital but it was too late, he wrote, ‘Where would I have to go, if I wanted to go to the end of the world, when it’s round. Where would I have to go to reach the end of my suffering, when death is connected with life in a single ring?’ Everything is just said in that. People chase after something, rush forth, they think they are something, but they are just consciousness and conscience.”

  • “Then the Russians came, there was this match, a sparring. But then the two guys disappeared. The Russians came up to me that they still hadn’t received the money. They took up a cheque, went to a bank and returned in about an hour, all pale, angry, fists clenched like they were about to break rocks. The cheque was for CZK 999,000, i.e. a million, and was bounced by the bank. They wanted me to give them the money. I said to my then wife – what now? We could sell our car, a Favorit, for not much, we could borrow some money… This was how I was thinking about it. They stayed in the hotel Europa and still waited what would happen, they didn’t want to leave. Eventually, however, they gave up, disappeared and I have never seen them nor heard about them ever since.”

  • “Once I was approached when I was in Vienna in 1974, this was at a communist manifesto and there was an open-air boxing match in Prater. Karel Gott sang there. We boxed, there was this folk band and boys. I was approached by a Slovak family, a man named Jáno Gala. They had children, I was eighteen and they asked me to stay. They saw that I was talented, they promised to take care of me and I could be a professional boxer. I didn’t think about it for a moment. At home I had my family, friends and didn’t care about money at all. I was given an offer but I simply wasn’t interested.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 27.06.2017

    duration: 01:24:47
    media recorded in project Tipsport for Legends
  • 2

    Praha, 01.12.2021

    duration: 01:47:50
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

If you want too much, you will never be happy in your life

photo: archiv Pamětníka

Rostislav Osička was born on October 15, 1956, in Valtice to a farmer’s family and grew up in Moravský Žižkov. He started boxing at fifteen in Hodonín and then in Skalice in the National League. He went to military service as a member of the Dukla team and started boxing on the professional basis. He won three bronze medals at the World Championship of Armies and the bronze medal from European Championship in Cologne. He is the champion of Czechoslovakia and three-time champion of the Czech Republic. During his career, he took 305 matches and won 268. In 1981 he had to end his professional career due to a row for which he was distanced for life from boxing. Later, the sentence was changed to a year and a half. He still boxed for the Uhelné sklady team but didn’t get to the top. He faced existential problems. He moved in the Prague demi-monde, worked as a bar bouncer, stuntman, occasional actor, made some money by delivering coal and as a trainer of young boxers. After 1989 he established a boxing school and had some bitter experience in his beginnings when he was cheated by con men. Painting is his life-long passion. He still paints, exhibits his paintings and sells them, but also provides boxing lessons to the general public and to a boxing team. In his story, he speaks about the doping of Germans and Bulgarians, or why he never wanted to go into exile.