Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Former world champion to train J'can boxers

Published:Thursday | January 5, 2017 | 1:00 AM

Former WBC heavyweight champion American Oliver 'The Atomic Bull' McCall will be visiting Jamaica later this month to work with the island's amateur boxers.

McCall, who is most known for his title win against Lennox Lewis in 1994, says that Jamaica has been relatively quiet in boxing internationally. However, he says, he intends to make world champions of young local talent in the future.

"I want to spend the next few months working with some of the amateur boxers there, so once they do turn pro, they will go up to another level of expectancy and win titles," McCall told The Gleaner.

He says Jamaica has to ensure it does not get left behind by other countries, especially European nations, who he says are elevating in the sport.

McCall has trained with world-famous coaches such as Emanuel Steward and George Benton and he says he wants to pass on what he has learnt from them to young Jamaican fighters.

"I want to pass some of this on so we can compete with all the other countries in the world and I believe that really starts at the amateur level," he said. "As the years go by, it might be two, or even 10, but the ring generalship and the ring knowledge will be passed on, and you will see a wave flow of what I'm able to give that has been given to me by hall-of-fame trainers."

JOY FACTOR

McCall will be brought to the island by I-Fight Promotions, led by his friend Chris Joy.

Joy's popularity in Jamaica has grown in recent months as he was the promoter for Team USA in last season's Wray & Nephew Contender Series, which his fighter, DeMarcus 'Chop Chop' Corley, won.

Joy also put together the Jamaica versus Cayman Islands Pro-Am Fight Night, which saw Jamaicans Jermaine 'Cross Breed' Bowen and Sakima 'Mr Smooth' Mullings in separate main-event bouts.

Jamaica Boxing Board of Control President Stephen 'Bomber' Jones is welcoming McCall's visit.

"Chris Joy has very good connections with the professional side of the sport and the fact that he is bringing the likes of an Oliver McCall to work with our amateurs, in my eyes, can only be positive," Jones says. "We definitely have the talent here so more and more bouts bode well for the activity necessary to get our athletes to that next level."