The Bahamas Boxing Federation (BBF) is sending a six-member team to the Bert Sugar National Qualifiers in Punta Gorda, Florida, from June 7-9.
The team consists of five male boxers and one female boxer, two coaches and a team manager.
The five male boxers are Patrick Joseph (130 lbs. – novice), Vashaun Johnson (133 lbs. – novice), Keith Major (165 lbs. – novice), Lenox Boyce (64 kilograms (kgs.) – elite) and Carl Hield (69 kgs. – elite). The lone female boxer on the team is Elizabeth Hutchinson (140 lbs. novice).
Keishno Major is the head coach of the team and Wellington Smith will be assisting him. The team manager is BBF President Vincent Strachan.
Strachan said in a press release that the boxers would be properly matched up against boxers of similar experience.
Boxers can use this tournament to qualify for the national championships, set to be held in Orlando, Florida, in November.
Strachan said: “I wish to thank Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Honorable Lanisha Rolle for ensuring that funding was made available to assist this team in travelling to the Bert Sugar event.”
Last year, The Bahamas won three belts at the national championships – from Boyce, Hield and Ronald Woodside. Woodside will not make the trip this time around, and will therefore not defend his title.
Strachan said that the entire team is confident, and looking forward to advancing to the championship round.
According to Strachan, The Bahamas is trying to host the event next year, and discussions in that regard will be held on this trip. Strachan is optimistic that the event could be held in New Providence or Grand Bahama next year.
This year’s calendar for the federation is full as it looks to rebuild boxing in The Bahamas.
After they return from this tournament, the island of New Providence will host a four nations international boxing show scheduled for June 27 to July 1 at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium.
In August, the federation is looking to send boxers to the High School and Juniors Championships in Georgetown, Guyana.
After that, boxers will be looking to take part in the 2019 AIBA (International Boxing Association) World Boxing Championships, from September 7-21 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. To end the year, the BBF will look to send a team to the Caribbean Championships in Trinidad and Tobago. That event will be held in December.
In addition to those events for the boxers, The Bahamas will play host to an AIBA training course. The AIBA course is a level one training course for coaches, referees and judges, and will be held from September 30 to October 9.
A total of 40 local candidates will be joined by a number of candidates from around the region.
“A new day has come for boxing in The Bahamas. We are moving forward, upward and onward with those who are committed to growth and the development of this great sport,” Strachan said.
The Bert Sugar National Qualifiers team is set to return to The Bahamas on Monday June 10.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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