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HomeSports ScopeThe Bahamas’ ‘amateur boxing’ fraternity under microscope

The Bahamas’ ‘amateur boxing’ fraternity under microscope

The Government of The Bahamas, through the Boxing Rules Act of 1990, established the controlling arm of the professional segment of the sport. Accordingly, the Cabinet of The Bahamas appointed the Bahamas Boxing Commission, its chairman and all of the members.

A clause in the act gives the appointed board the jurisdiction to, in its discretion, make decisions for the betterment of the national professional boxing program, of course, with the endorsement of the sitting Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture.

Generally, it is a government-controlled entity, and the personnel who are entrusted with the authority for professional boxing in the country can be appointed and changed, as the powers that be see fit.

The Bahamas Boxing Federation is an entirely different matter. The late former New York Golden Gloves standout Bertram (Bert Perry) Perigord, who was later to reign as The Bahamas’ Heavyweight Champion on several occasions, came back home in the late 1960s with the idea of an amateur program. He got with this writer, Virginius Knowles, Charlie Major, Rudy Moultrie and Amos Ferguson, to form the Bahamas Amateur Boxing Association. Only Ferguson and I of the founding executives are still alive. The organization was officially endorsed as a member of the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

The Bahamas Amateur Boxing Association later became known as the Bahamas Amateur Boxing Federation and is now called the Bahamas Boxing Federation (amateur). From that embryonic point in 1968 to now, the international body has determined how its member organizations, the one in The Bahamas and elsewhere, function.

AIBA has a set of particular rules regarding election of officers. It is from this backdrop that the local amateur organization has had problems. One voting, earlier this year, was nullified by the international parent body. Last weekend, there was the re-called voting and Vincent Strachan emerged president once again. Still, though, a cloud hangs over the group responsible now for directing amateur boxing in the country. The entire new slate of officers is under scrutiny because there were complaints of irregularities regarding the status of some who voted.

I understand that a protest will be logged with AIBA. Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) Vice President Roy Colebrooke chaired the elections, assisted by former federation vice president Alvin Sargent, who acknowledged that an official protest indeed is rumored.

“The elections went fairly okay. A number of questions were put to the chairman by Ronn Rodgers (who sought the presidency) but they were not considered appropriate for that forum and the election went on. An AIBA representative, Stephen Jones of Jamaica, was there and he observed, and from my perspective he didn’t have any problems with what went on. I understand though, that there will still be a protest,” informed Sargent.

So, the dust still has not settled and at least for the immediate future, Strachan will run the organization, knowing that an official endorsement of the elections by AIBA is essential.

For the sake of the sport, hopefully AIBA is able to bring order to the local federation without having to make a drastic decision that would put the amateur element of the sport on hold in The Bahamas.

• To respond to this column, interested persons are asked to kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address sturrup1504@gmail.com, or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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