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Coach full of hope for Jamaica's boxers

Published:Wednesday | July 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Boxer Kestna Davis (left) and coach Dewith Fraser in the Athletes' Village at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

GLASGOW, Scotland:

Coach Dewith Fraser is convinced that the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games experience has been a positive one for Jamaica's boxers and believes all support should be given to the team here heading into next year's Pan American Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Swiss-based female flyweight Sarah-Joy Rae will fight tomorrow for a medal against either Nigeria's Michaela Walsh or Mauritius' Thessa Dumas, while Michael Gardner and Cheavan Clarke lost their first bouts.

Nineteen-year-old southpaw Kestna Davis went out of the competition on Monday night after losing to India's Mandeep Jangra on a unanimous decision in the Round of 16 in the men's welterweight class.

The other members of the team are light heavyweight Cheavan Clarke and middleweight Michael Gardner.

"It's been a very positive experience, these guys have all the facilities to train, everything is provided," Fraser told The Gleaner. "They are surrounded by a lot of track stars. Interacting with them has been a positive experience for them as well."

In terms of the competition, Davis analysed: "We have done very well, our light heavyweight (Clarke) really got a bad deal on a 2-1 decision. After looking at the tape numerous times, clearly, he won, but it's part of boxing, so we move on," Fraser argued.

"Kestna is very athletic, the crowd likes him, the judges do not because his hands are always down, but boxing is about entertainment. But we are teaching him to adapt to the international style and put his hands up.

"Chevaun Clarke, he was the one we felt won on Sunday night, but didn't get the decision. He's not really angry, but he is upset and wished he got the opportunity to do more because he needed to do a bit more, even though we though he won easily," Fraser noted, before turning his attention to Jamaica's medal hope, Rae.

"She is fighting for a medal on Wednesday (today). She is very tall for her weight class and that's an advantage. She has a really good chance of getting a medal for Jamaica," said Fraser.

Could have done better

Fraser believes that with greater preparation, the team could have done even better and is calling on the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control to ensure that necessary support is given to the boxers in their preparation for future competition.

"What they lack here is preparation; they didn't have enough time in training camp, but this experience is going to be one that helps them moving on to the Pan Am Games next year, so that's really what that is about," Fraser said.

"I hope the association will realise what they have in these guys and invest in them in the next couple of years because they need it," Fraser stated. "I hope the publicity we are getting now and also with the 'Contender' series, it's a good time to see that if the investment is there, they will do well. They would like to continue this journey to the Pan Am Games, and from there to the Olympic Games and they can do well.

- André Lowe