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Amateur boxing set for GB return

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — Amateur boxing may soon be returning to Grand Bahama.

For a long time, there has been a lot of talk and much anticipation about the return of amateur boxing to Grand Bahama.

Much of that came about when the Grand Bahama Amateur Boxing Association was formed.  However, in the face of the many changes that took place within the association, local boxing has still remained a dinosaur in Grand Bahama.  However, according to Terry Goldsmith, coach and association executive, bi-monthly amateur bouts are expected to begin at the YMCA Gymnasium this month.

The idea came about after the association got together with both clubs (YMCA and Genesis) to discuss the best possible means by which local contests could be held.

“We are in the process of examining and holding the Grand Bahama Secondary Schools Amateur Boxing Championships in June or July of next year, right after school exams,” said Goldsmith. “Also, I have to discuss that with the P.E. Association and the Principal’s Association. We want to also host an open championships later on in the year.”

Goldsmith reported that the wife of ‘Kid Freeport’ has opened a boxing club in Smith’s Point, and plans are to have amateur boxers from Freeport and West Grand Bahama go there on a regular basis to have sparring sessions with the young boxers there.  He also said that the club in Smith’s Point is in need of equipment and the association is hoping to see how best it can support that up-and-coming club.

In total, Goldsmith said that there are about 25 young boxers in the YMCA and Genesis boxing clubs combined, and so they would like to give those youngsters a chance to box on a regular basis.

“All of the events will be in a novice championship, because right now the kids just want to get into the ring and box,” said Goldsmith. “Those who belong to clubs will step ahead of the novices, and the bouts will be matched up where a novice will take on a novice and once we find the champion of the novices, then we will pair that person with the ones who are not really novices in an open championship.  If you belong to a club and you already have fights under your belt, then you won’t be allowed to box in the novice division.”

Goldsmith said that even now he and the association want to look ahead to the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games and would like to see Bahamian boxers take part.

“I’m thinking way ahead… I may not be around by then, but I have to look ahead,” said Goldsmith.  “The coaches are cooperating toward this goal.  We’re also looking for officials, so in the new year we will be holding an officials seminar.”

On another note, Goldsmith said that he wanted to clear up the perception that the Grand Bahama Boxing Association has sanctioned the ‘Fight Night’ events at the night club.  Goldsmith stressed the point that the association has no connection with the event, nor has the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas sanctioned it.

“We have nothing to do with it and would not like to have the perception that we do,” he said. “We don’t condone it.  Anytime the boxing association put on a fight, there are certain parameters and steps that must be taken before a bout is held, and those are taken for safety measures.  From making sure that the fighters are physically fit and able to box, to making sure that all of the right equipment is being used, to ensuring the well-being of the boxers as well as the well-being and safety of the fighters.”

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