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News Article

March 16, 2013
Boxing commission looks to assist mixed martial arts in Grand Bahama

Minister of Grand Bahama Michael Darville recently expressed a desire to work with the national boxing program to the fullest, particularly regarding the sport in his island.
It was at an introductory meeting with the New Providence-based government-appointed body that the minister offered the assistance of his office. The outlook is special for Freeman Thurston, who heads a mixed martial arts program.
He is also the president of the Grand Bahama Amateur Boxing Association and is seeking a way to connect the programs, with guidance. The Bahamas Boxing Commission has heard his cry. Chairman
Alvin Sargent and company pledged to assist Thurston within the guidelines set out for the Commission by the Boxing Act.
In the act, the commission has no authority over mixed martial arts. The request of Thurston could end up being quite revolutionary. With no actual government-designated body to fall under, professional mixed martial arts is sort of in a limbo situation in the country.
Thurston with his overture could very well be laying the foundation for legislators to have a new look at the Boxing Act and make the effort to include mixed martial arts in the portfolio of the commission. MMA encompasses regular boxing as well as other contact art forms.
The approach of Thurston is refreshing and could give him another dimension to utilize as he tries to push the amateur boxing program in Grand Bahama. I see the gesture of Minister Darville as one of sincerity. His ministry and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture might just inspire a resurgence of contact sports in Grand Bahama - professional and amateur boxing, as well as mixed martial arts.
I congratulate Minister Darville and his associates in the Ministry of Grand Bahama, Undersecretary Cecil Thompson, Protocol Chief Dashwell Williams and others. Over at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Deputy Director of Sports for the Northern Region Gladstone 'Moon' McPhee is also very much on board.
He has offered to be the point person to network with the Ministry of Grand Bahama and the boxing/mixed martial arts fraternities on behalf of the commission.
High on the agenda is a proposed big boxing show featuring Sherman 'Tank' Williams, a Grand Bahama native. It would be simply wonderful, if the agents of Williams, representatives of the Ministry of Grand Bahama, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture can get together with the boxing commission to sort out a strategy towards a 'big show' headlining the Bahamian heavyweight champion.
Champ Williams is nearing the end of an excellent career and a couple of shows in Grand Bahama would be quite in order.
The commission plans to do all that is possible under its authority to provide the appropriate environment for Williams to close out his career in grand fashion.

o To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com

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News Article

May 05, 2012
Boxers seek qualification to mark 40th anniversary

A team from the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB), inclusive of two boxers, is in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, today for the final Olympic Trials. Valentino Knowles and Carl Heild, light welterweight and welterweight standouts respectively, will each be trying to ensure they snatch one of the remaining qualifying spots left for the London 2012 Olympics. If one or both qualify, it will be an excellent way to mark the 40th year since The Bahamas was first represented in boxing at the Olympic Games.
The year was 1972 and the sports extravaganza in Munich was to forever be tainted by the tragedy of the Israeli team being taken hostage and 11 athletes and coaches losing their lives. For The Bahamas however, the Games were special because one sports discipline was making its debut.
Along with sailing and athletics, amateur boxing competitors were a part of the Bahamian delegation. Nathaniel Knowles, the middleweight, was to become the first Bahamian to win a bout in Olympic competition. Also in Munich on the historic sporting occasion for his country, was the late Gary Davis, who fought in the welterweight division.
Assisting the pair in the corners were this writer (amateur boxing president at the time) and National Coach Bert Perry. It would be a fitting tribute to the pioneer efforts of Nat Knowles and Davis, if Valentino Knowles and Heild are successful. ABFB President Wellington Miller thinks the boxers will qualify. He informed that there are 38 Olympic spots available in this final set of trials. According to Miller, the top five boxers in the light welter and welterweight divisions will earn the trip to London.
"I feel confident. Valentino and Carl are each ranked among the top five within the region. I expect that they will follow through in this tournament. At the end of the day, we should have two boxers competing for The Bahamas at the Olympics in London," said Miller.
The technical meeting was scheduled last evening and the draw for the bouts is slated to take place this morning with the competition beginning this afternoon. The boxers must qualify first and if they do, then there is the tall order of trying to equal the stellar performance of welterweight Taureano Johnson at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Johnson is a professional fighter these days, but he has left his signature on amateur boxing in The Bahamas and the wider region. His No. 5 ranking from winning two bouts in Beijing stands as the highest a Bahamian has ever been on the world list. In Rio along with Knowles, Heild and Miller, are coaches Andre Seymour and Steve Larramore.
Best wishes to the group!
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

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News Article

October 08, 2014
Boxing Hall of Fame program to resume

The Bahamas Boxing Commission plans to resume its hall of fame program in the very near future. Established in 2009, the local boxing hall of fame made an historic entrance on the national sports scene when Elisha Obed, Yama Bahama and Gomeo Brennan were inducted.
Inductees Bert Perry and Wilfred "Battling" Douglas were enshrined in 2011. Like with other organizations, funding challenges stalled the program, but Chairman Alvin Sargent said recently that the primary item on the 2014-2015 fiscal year agenda will be the third induction ceremony.
"There are so many within the boxing family who have contributed to the national sports development. Our hall of fame is a way to give the inductees a good feeling for all of the hard work and sacrifices during their careers. The boxing hall of fame program will return in 2015," said Sargent.
The group of stalwart boxing family members, from whom will come the next inductees include the following: Leonard "Boston Blackie" Miller, "Baby Boy" Rolle, "Sugar" Cliff, Vogal "Bobo" Reckley, Wendall Newton, Ray Minus Jr., Cleveland "KO" Paris, Ray Minus Sr., Wilfred Coakley, Wellington "Sonny Boy" Rahming, Steve Larrimore, Roy Armbrister, Chris Malakius, Douglas Carey, Sammie Isaacs, George Knowles, Stoney Godet, Wendall "Grumpy" Mortimer and "Tidal Wave" Duncanson.
The aforementioned and others helped to define the modern era of sports in The Bahamas. Several of them including Cliff, Newton and Reckley campaigned for most of their careers, abroad. Rolle and Minus Jr. were for the most part based at home, but also fought on a number of occasions each, on foreign soil.
The others excited local audiences and were linked to history in particular through great matches waged at the fabled boxing arenas, the Oakes Field Hanger and the Nassau Stadium. "Boston Blackie", in particular, thrilled fans for many years as his career spanned parts of three decades. He won Bahamian championships in the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions.
"We want to make this third edition of the hall of fame very special. There will be lead-up events that will include all of the candidates. Then, at some point, we will announce the finalists and then finally, the inductees for the class of 2015. I'm eager for the experience. Having events that would make it possible for boxing people to get together and talk about old times, will be a way to put some excitement into the sport," said Sargent.
The resumption of the hall of fame program will indeed serve to bring some excitement back into pro boxing and put it in the spotlight. The commission also intends to salute the current group of boxers who are active in the role of sporting ambassadors for the country. Sargent informed that tentatively the hall of fame event is scheduled to take place in March of next year. More details are forthcoming.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com)

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News Article

July 14, 2012
Challenges for new boxing commission

The single-most important aspect that marked the previous two administrations of the Bahamas Boxing Commission was the extraordinary comradeship enjoyed by the members who made solid strides despite a struggling economy, not favorable to would-be promoters.
Under Dr. Norman Gay's chairmanship, the 2003-2007 administrators reconnected professional boxing in The Bahamas with the major world boxing authority bodies. Dr. Gay, who was one of the chief architects of the legislated rules and regulations that govern professional boxing, is known for his diplomatic style.
He fostered a close-knit climate and the members worked always as one to regain a positive image for professional boxing in the country.
In 2007, under a new central government, the position of chairman was filled by former outstanding light heavyweight boxer Pat Strachan. The smooth working relationship of the commission continued. During Strachan's tenure, the commission established the Boxing Hall of Fame and inducted five former stalwarts of the sport.
The first three inductees, in 2009, were Everette "Elisha Obed" Ferguson, William "Yama Bahama" Butler and Gomeo Brennan. In 2011, the commission inducted Bertram "Bert Perry" Perigord and Wilfred "Battling" Douglas.
I had the pleasure of serving as secretary under both administrations, and as president of the Commonwealth Boxing Council (2008-2010). The commission was also instrumental in networking with the council to place Bahamians as boxing contenders.
In that regard, Jermain Mackey was rated, got a shot at the Commonwealth Super Middleweight Crown and was successful. He held the title from 2007 to 2009. So indeed, while promoters had and still have difficulties getting enough funding to put on boxing shows, some significant inroads were made during the past two administrations of the commission.
Dr. Gay and Strachan deserve high praise for their leadership style.
The present administration, announced on Monday by the government, is thus challenged to forge new avenues of accomplishments. Under the new announced chairman, Alvin Sargeant, and this writer, who was named deputy chairman, the commission starts out on a high note.
Three weeks ago, Bahamian Heavyweight Champion Sherman 'Tank' Williams got a prestigious victory. He defeated Chauncy Welliver in Macau, China and ended up with three titles. He is now the China Zone, Asia Pacific and Macau Province champion.
Thus, he owns four titles, including that of The Bahamas.
A grand way to get going would be for the new commission to pay public tribute to Williams. My understanding is that the city of Vero Beach in Florida, where Williams and his wife Kimberley reside, has embraced him anew.
According to Kimberley, the Tank is due to be presented with the key to the city in a special ceremony later this month. So far, nothing of the kind has been announced locally.
Perhaps it might be left to the commission to take the initiative. It would be a gesture befitting the noted sports ambassador and a rather positive plank on which the administration under Sargeant can begin its business.
o To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

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News Article

May 09, 2012
Boxers seek qualification to mark 40th anniversary

A team from the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB), inclusive of two boxers, is in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, today for the final Olympic Trials. Valentino Knowles and Carl Heild, light welterweight and welterweight standouts respectively, will each be trying to ensure they snatch one of the remaining qualifying spots left for the London 2012 Olympics. If one or both qualify, it will be an excellent way to mark the 40th year since The Bahamas was first represented in boxing at the Olympic Games.
The year was 1972 and the sports extravaganza in Munich was to forever be tainted by the tragedy of the Israeli team being taken hostage and 11 athletes and coaches losing their lives. For The Bahamas however, the Games were special because one sports discipline was making its debut.
Along with sailing and athletics, amateur boxing competitors were a part of the Bahamian delegation. Nathaniel Knowles, the middleweight, was to become the first Bahamian to win a bout in Olympic competition. Also in Munich on the historic sporting occasion for his country, was the late Gary Davis, who fought in the welterweight division.
Assisting the pair in the corners were this writer (amateur boxing president at the time) and National Coach Bert Perry. It would be a fitting tribute to the pioneer efforts of Nat Knowles and Davis, if Valentino Knowles and Heild are successful. ABFB President Wellington Miller thinks the boxers will qualify. He informed that there are 38 Olympic spots available in this final set of trials. According to Miller, the top five boxers in the light welter and welterweight divisions will earn the trip to London.
"I feel confident. Valentino and Carl are each ranked among the top five within the region. I expect that they will follow through in this tournament. At the end of the day, we should have two boxers competing for The Bahamas at the Olympics in London," said Miller.
The technical meeting was scheduled last evening and the draw for the bouts is slated to take place this morning with the competition beginning this afternoon. The boxers must qualify first and if they do, then there is the tall order of trying to equal the stellar performance of welterweight Taureano Johnson at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Johnson is a professional fighter these days, but he has left his signature on amateur boxing in The Bahamas and the wider region. His No. 5 ranking from winning two bouts in Beijing stands as the highest a Bahamian has ever been on the world list. In Rio along with Knowles, Heild and Miller, are coaches Andre Seymour and Steve Larramore.
Best wishes to the group!
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

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News Article

February 17, 2012
Boxing seminar set for Saturday

This coming Saturday at Mario's Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace, the Bahamas Boxing Commission will stage a seminar that will focus on the medical and officiating aspects of the sport.
The seminar comes at a time when the professional boxing scene is showing signs of vibrancy. A boxing show which was organized by the Major Promotions and Entertainment group did not draw a huge crowd earlier this month (February 4), but the 200-plus spectators were treated to an exciting card and it is clear that the enthusiasm is at the very least, building again for professional boxing.
There is another new promotional group on the scene. Former Bahamian middleweight champion Elkaener Saunders heads a group that is pushing for a big return to the ring by Jermaine Mackey. The former Commonwealth Super Middleweight Champion, Mackey, is 18-5, but has not fought since 2009.
He was once considered world championship material. Many thought of him as the one with the best chance to follow Elisha Obed with the official claim of an authentic world title. However, he appeared to be badly misguided and his boxing world came crashing down. His pending return has added to the enthusiastic climate in professional boxing these days.
It is from this backdrop that the seminar being staged by the commission is most important. The time is right to acquaint all of the frontline folks in the local boxing fraternity with the medical and officiating regulations they need to be aware of. At the forefront of the seminar on Saturday will be chairmen of the Medical and Officiating Committees respectively, Commissioner Dr. Munir Rashad and Commissioner Fernley Palmer. Statistician Commissioner Paul Moxey is assisting Commissioner Palmer.
The presenters during the medical segment of the seminar will be Dr. Pat Roberts, Dr. Ricardo Davis and Dr. Rashad. Drs. Roberts and Davis are long-time supporters and assistants of professional and amateur boxing. Dr. Roberts will lead the discussion on anti-doping as it pertains to boxing and Dr. Davis is scheduled to pass on to the attendees, his insight on injuries in the ring.
Medical Committee Chairman Dr. Rashad will wrap up the segment with a concentration on the necessity of a medical certificate to clear a boxer to compete. The officiating segment will be coordinated by Commissioner Palmer and Commissioner Moxey. Amateur world certified official Alvin Sargeant will be invited to make a presentation as well. Their focus will be ring conduct, time lines of shows, judging, scoring, dressing room activity and the referee's authority.
It is an appropriate forum that the commission will be providing. The event will begin at 8 a.m.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at fredericksturrup@gmail.com.

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News Article

January 13, 2014
Pro boxing looking forward to more activities in 2014

Novice boxing promoter Tommy Stubbs has a full awareness of the rather nice spectator participation at the Friday, December 13 boxing show in the Rainforest Theatre. It was his first boxing promotion, but he is a promoter of note. Verification of his capacity as a promoter, are the many wedding shows he has produced over the last two decades. So indeed, at least for one promotion, his journey down another road has potential. The challenges Stubbs and his associates encountered were no doubt because of the initial entrance into a new arena.
Once he is prepared to recognize the jurisdiction of the Bahamas Boxing Commission (BBC) and act accordingly, his marriage into the boxing fraternity could be blessed with quality shows going forward. Already, on the heels of Meacher Major's successful outing against Brazilian Roger Rosa on the Stubbs' card, serious talks are going on about other promotions. Of great interest is the prospect of a prime middleweight bout. Taureano Johnson, the former outstanding amateur who has been the lone Bahamian campaigning in the professional ranks as a middleweight, is pivotal in the mix.
Then, there is former super middleweight champion Jermain Mackey, along with junior middleweight Jerome Ellis. A bout between any of the aforementioned three would no doubt be quite exciting. The new ratings of the commission are soon to come out and inclusive will likely be designated champions. It is possible that the official middleweight championship of The Bahamas might be up for grabs.
Major, actually, the Bahamian super featherweight champion, is flexible to entering the ring in that classification or as a lightweight or even a junior welterweight as per his last fight. He is preparing for a series of bouts. His focus is another Commonwealth Boxing Council (CBC) elimination match in one weight category or the other.
"I got a chance once and it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. I suffered a hand injury and did not finish the fight. I had a difficulty with my left hand during the last fight but I pulled it together and finished the contest well. I want to fight another elimination match because my big focus now is a Commonwealth title," said Major in a recent interview.
His enthusiasm plus the other elements, create a scenario that bodes well for pro boxing in the immediate future. Perhaps 2014 will be the year that pro boxing rebounds in a big way. There is also the possibility that Edner Cherry, the Haitian-Bahamian, who has been fighting out of Florida for the last 10 years, will return to his birth country to be formerly introduced as an elite pro boxer.
Indeed there is optimism for pro boxing in the country.

o To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

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News Article

December 13, 2013
Miller likes the direction boxing is headed in

Big plans are on the horizon for the sport of boxing, this according to Wellington Miller, president of the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB)...

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News Article

November 11, 2013
CBC seeking views on AIBA's expansion into pro boxing

There is an interesting scenario that confronts the world boxing fraternity. The International Amateur Boxing Association (or Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur - AIBA) has expanded into the professional category...

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News Article

December 16, 2013
Bahamian boxing comes alive as Major gets back on win trail

It was great to see the former Minister of Sports Neville Wisdom in the house. There he was in the Rainforest Theatre at the Wyndham Resort this past Friday evening, soaking up the excitement of the finest boxing show in this decade.
There were quite a number of other sports enthusiasts who came in a modest initial flow that eventually swelled to a packed theater. The ultimate satisfaction came to the Bahamian supporters of the show when Meacher Major ended up with a decision victory at the end of six rousing rounds with the tough Brazilian Roger Rosa.
Promoter Tommy Stubbs deserves congratulations. His Buttons Formal Wear team jumped readily into a situation totally new to them and success was the result. Ronn Rodgers of the Strikers Boxing Club, and Ray Minus Jr., who heads Champion Amateur Boxing Club, both responsible for the coordination of the matches, came up big as well.
Despite some glitches and making the adjustment to the regulations put in place by the Bahamas Boxing Commission, the end result was one that ought to inspire Stubbs to continue on this new business path. He certainly seemed to have a good feeling about the show when it was all over.
He smiled when several spectators came up to him and asked for more shows. Without a doubt, his step into boxing was pivotal in giving the sport energy.
The collaboration of pro and amateur boxing is a winner. The crowd, by the response, obviously enjoyed the amateur action. In fact so solid was the entire card that when Dencil Major opted out of the competition and Alex Perez flopped against Mike Sawyer, the onlookers still left feeling that they had gotten their money's worth.
The amateur bout of the night was between American Fernando Caldron and Bahamian Kendric Stuart of the Strikers Boxing Club. Interestingly enough, although Stuart cleaned up on Caldron for the first two rounds, his propensity to mix it up when he could have just boxed and won in a breeze, proved to be his undoing. In the third round he was badly out of gas and absorbed blows that in the earlier rounds he was evading. That final round obviously swayed the judges and Caldron got the nod.
It was an encounter, however, with solid action throughout. In other amateur bouts, Jonathon Cox of Champion Amateur Boxing Club won against his club mate Don Rolle; Strikers Boxing Club's D'Angelo Swaby won by third round stoppage against Champion Club's Renardo McKenzie; Strikers Club's Israel Johnson defeated Tyson Isaacs of the Beast Mode Fight Team, and Kerone Knowles of Champion Boxing won over Strikers Club's Tyrone Oliver.
It was a big night for boxing.
Significant in the mix was announcer Ivan 'Showtime' Francis. Although new to the game, he was a rather nice dimension and could become a fixture on the scene.
Hopefully, the ring excitement will continue.

o To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

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