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National boxing forum scheduled for January

The year 2010 has been one of great advancement for the amateur boxing national program. The Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas(ABFB)enhanced its reputation through the nation’s top two amateurs, Valentino Knowles and Carl Hield.

The former won a gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean(CAC)Games and both he and Hield won bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games. Also, they were very productive during the year’s competitive campaign in Cuba.

Locally, the enthusiasm for the sport grew. The Pan American Caribbean Boxing Organization(PACBO)that assists the respective programs in the region has its head office in The Bahamas and has been working closely in association with the ABFB.

As a result, ABFB President Wellington Miller is of the view that a national meeting is necessary early in the new year to ensure that there is a full understanding that the signs are”great”for amateur boxing to continue moving forward in a strong fashion.

“We have to take advantage of this opportunity that we have right now. The excitement in amateur boxing has never been greater. Not since the early days when the founders of the amateurprogram in the country cemented us in the Bahamian culture, has the solidarity

been this great. Everybody now understands that we must all work together for the betterment of the national program.

“I’m glad there is that understanding. I was very impressed the other night(December 11)when the Pan American Caribbean Boxing Organization brought boxing back to the Nassau Stadium. It was a great night for history when you think about the Nassau Stadium being the birthplace of amateur boxing in the country. It was good to see how the people responded. It was a very good indication that we can become even more popular.

“So, the thing to do now is to have a national forum at which all of the leaders of the sport can come together and talk about their plans. We want all to be aware of what the various programs are doing so that we can get the most out of every competition. The meeting will be in Nassau. As soon as I’m able to get a good feel for the time, I will announce the date,”said Miller.

The ABFB President also confirmed that in 2011, national box-off tourneys will be held to determine representatives for regional and international competitions.

“We are at that stage now. I have been promised the assistance of PACBO International to help spearhead the box-off tournaments. We want participation from all of the areas, Bimini, Inagua, all of Grand Bahama, New Providence and anywhere else in the country where there is a boxing interest,”informed Miller.

The collective effort will culminate with the National Golden Gloves Tournament in November of 2011, disclosed Miller. The national tournament will be one of two major competitions organized by the ABFB each year. The other will be the Independence Classic.

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