Fireworks expected at Caribbean boxing championships this weekend

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The third Caribbean schoolboys and juniors boxing championships will punch-off on Friday (August 17) and President of the Guyana Boxing Association, Steve Ninvalle, is expecting great excitement as the host nation attempts to make a successful title defense.

Guyana stands as defending champions and though the team is quite new to the level of high intensity anticipated, Ninvalle still thinks they have what it takes to do the job over the next three days at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue.

“We would a lot of competitions in the last six months and it would have given us a chance to shortlist our team for encampment. So we have the best of our juniors and schoolboys,” Ninvalle boasted.

He added, “I think it is not about Guyana winning; this is a collaborative effort and we want to know where the region is as it relates to that department of the sport. So after this we can take a panoramic view and say aptly the Caribbean needs to this or it needs to do that.”

According to Ninvalle, the budget for the tournament stands at $6 million and so far they have only raised half of that sum. Assisting in a substantial way is the National Sports Commission. Director of Sport Christopher Jones contended that events such as these help in developing the nation’s grassroot talents.

“We have essentially seen the growth of our young boxers because of the programme they [Guyana Boxing Association] have set up. This tournament provides an opportunity for youngsters to be scouted,” he reckoned.

Jones also explained that the work of coach Orlon Rogers, who teaches the sport to aspiring boxers in the hinterland regions, will now have an opportunity to showcase their talents.

Manager and Coach of Jamaica, Gilbert Viles, stated they are hoping to pattern themselves after Guyana.

“Guyana has been holding up the Caribbean regarding where schoolboy boxing is concerned. In Jamaica we are trying to pattern what Guyana have set which is helping the youths programme,” he said.

Four boxers- three males and one female- are representing Jamaica at the event.

The tournament runs from August 17 to 19 and features boxers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and St, Lucia, while there is still uncertainty over the presence of Grenada due to having issues sourcing plane tickets.

Support has also come from Demerara Distillers Limited under its Pepsi brand, Guyana Olympic Association, Maggie’s Snackette and Hand-in-Hand Insurance. Admission is $500 to the stands, while ringside is $1,000. Action starts at 18:00h daily.

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