Jones pleased with developing boxers
Jamaica Boxing Association (JBA) President Stephen 'Bomber' Jones says the national team's performance at the Caribbean Development Boxing Championships in Barbados last week has enhance their reputation a regional competitor and set the stage for a more active 2017.
Jamaica finished the championships with eight medals, which also included two golds, four silvers and two bronze, and he was full of praise for the two gold medallists, Kerron Thomas and Jerone Ennis.
Jones said Thomas' success represents more than boxing, while he calls Ennis the 'future'.
Sixteen year old Thomas only took up boxing eight months ago through a programme the association initiated in the inner-cities of Denham Town, Hannah Town and Fletchers Land to instill discipline in inner-city youth through boxing and martial arts. Thomas gravitated to the sports and with hard work came away with the gold medal in the Novice flyweight after beating Iniggakaya Lythcott from host country Barbados.
MORE THAN BOXING
"Kerron went through this programme and went on to represent Jamaica and achieved gold after boxing for eight months, so it shows that a lot can come out of the inner cities. She represents more than just boxing, Thomas represents that gold can come from anywhere," he told The Gleaner.
In the youth Welterweight final, Ennis ended tied with Cayman Islands' Hopkin Ebanks at the end of their bout and even though there was a points deduction on Jamaica for rule infringement, the judges awarded the gold to Ennis and Jones thought it was deserving of his talent and hard work.
"Jerone is just an unbelievable talent ... him going and getting the gold, we were expecting that, so it's just to manage him and keep his ego down and the focus on track," he said.
Jones says all the other representatives have potential to go on to better things and that the future is looking bright for 2017.
"It's not just Kerron and Jerone, all the others; (super) heavyweight Ricardo Brown, only had a couple fights and he went up against elite boxers and did well. Give him more competition and hone his skills so he does not make mistakes that they can deduct points, and he can be a real force to reckon with in no time.
"We have been working on building from now for the tournaments coming up, and we wanted to have a stronger presence in the region, we wanted to stake our claim, and although we went with the intention to get all gold, we are pleased. They represented very well," he added