Boxing Conclave-Part II
At the 1974 Central American and Caribbean(CAC)Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, middleweight Nat Knowles won the first medal in the sport of boxing for The Bahamas.
Two years prior, at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, Knowles and Gary Davis(welterweight)had broken new ground from a participation perspective for the country.
Along with this writer, who was the president of the amateur program at the time, and Bert Perry the national trainer as corner attendants, The Bahamas made its entrance on the international scene. There have been peaks and valleys for the program but perseverance has been the key.
Along the way, Lionel Glinton captured the nation’s second CAC medal, Andre Seymour won at the Olympic level, Steve Larramore got the first Commonwealth Games medal, Taureano Johnson triumphed for the first Commonwealth Boxing Championships medal, the program won numerous Caribbean Amateur Boxing Association(CABA) junior and senior titles, Johnson became a fixture as the Most Outstanding CABA boxer, Carl Heild won the first Pan American Caribbean Boxing Organization(PACBO)title, Johnson performed well enough in Beijing at the 2008 Olympic Games to win two matches and be rated the No. 5 welterweight in the world, Valentino Knowles gave us our first CAC Games gold medal, then he and Heild were excellent in winning bronze medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The Bahamas can make a case for Johnson being the most prolific competitor in the CABA tournaments.
Accordingly, the amateur boxing program can claim superiority among its Caribbean peers to a much greater extent than any other federation in this country. Federations of track and field, swimming, tennis, basketball, golf, none other has been as consistently successful in Caribbean competition as the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas(ABFB).
Long-time ABFB President Wellington Miller has shown great loyalty to the pioneers of the organization in charting the course through most of the last two decades, withstanding tremendous sacrifices. Now, the time is at hand to structure the national boxing program for the future.
The ABFB has to regulate its clubs. It has to register every amateur fighter and maintain a connection with every parent or guardian. The ABFB must monitor the tournaments held by clubs to ensure that no young boxer is placed at a disadvantage and discouraged. Close attention must be paid to the frequency of bouts.
All amateurs must be given regular and thorough medical checks. A ranking system needs to be established. Miller has forged a significant relationship with the Pan American Caribbean Boxing Organization. That regional body, with the head office in The Bahamas, has agreed to boost the national development at the local level.
It’s all about partnering in the best interest of the development of young boys(and some girls)who want to grow and mature through boxing. Congratulations are in order for the ABFB. The conclave is timely.
Best wishes to the entire amateur boxing family on the way forward.