Collins hails Jamaican boxing quartet
Jamaica's boxing team manager Godfrey Collins has said that the four boxers who travelled to the Americas Qualifying tournament in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, for September's World Boxing Championship, have still done well despite not qualifying.
"Our team did not qualify, but our boxers fought hard and gained a wealth of experience which will be useful for the future," Collins said.
The team's coach, Gilbert Vaz, told The Gleaner that he agreed with the manager that the boxers gained valuable experience, and he himself had also benefited.
"We saw at first-hand the hard work that is necessary, and planning for these championships must begin early. Our boxers have the talent to do well and I am optimistic about the future," he added.
Collins was also pleased that light-heavyweight boxer Ian Darby made it to the quarter-finals, then to a box-off for the final spot in the division. Darby just failed to make it, as he lost by decision to Venezuelan Albert Ramirez. Darby gave hope of qualifying when he won his first bout against Christopher Vasquez from Venezuela. In the crucial automatic qualifying bout, however, he lost on points to the eventual champion, Julio de la Cruz, from Cuba. He then lost the box-off for the sixth place to Ramirez.
Super heavyweight Ricardo Brown also made it to the quarter-finals, but bowed out there to Colombia's Christian Salcedo.
In addition to Darby and Brown, lightweight Patrick Sahadeo and middleweight Janathan Hanson also participated. They, however, lost their first-round matches. Sahadeo to Escobar Duran from Honduras and Hanson to Troy Isley from the USA.
Sixteen countries qualified boxers for the World Championships. Among them were two English-speaking Caribbean territories, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, with one boxer each. The top-qualifying countries were Cuba, with boxers in all 10 weight classes, Colombia next with seven, the USA, six, and Brazil and Mexico, five each.
To qualify for the World Boxing Championships in September, boxers from the various continents participate in regional tournaments. The tournament in Honduras was for boxers from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean, and six boxers from each of the 10 weight classes qualified.