Wed | Nov 25, 2020

Local boxers will get their chance – Jones

Published:Wednesday | October 14, 2020 | 12:08 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Jones
Jones
Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes (left) goes on the offensive against opponent Ricardo ‘Magic Man’ Salas during the final of the now-discontinued Wray and Nephew Contender final, held at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston on Wednesday July 25, 2018
Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes (left) goes on the offensive against opponent Ricardo ‘Magic Man’ Salas during the final of the now-discontinued Wray and Nephew Contender final, held at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston on Wednesday July 25, 2018.
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Local boxing promoter John Isaacs revealed recently that his Creative Sports and Entertainment company reached an agreement with an international partner to host a live television boxing show to be aired in the United States.

However, while the project, which has caused excitement among local boxing fans, may not include many local boxers, President of the Jamaica Boxing Board (JBB), Stephen ‘Bomba’ Jones, insists that Jamaican fighters, both professional and amateurs, will get their opportunity to use the platform as a springboard to better their careers.

“No boxing could take place here without the inclusion of the locals. It can’t just be international boxers, it has to have locals. Even if the international boxing is the main event, you want to know that any platform being used, it is opened for our local boxers first, so they can build their careers,” Jones said.

FIRST PREFERENCE

Jones noted that local professionals will be offered their chance to be on the main card, but cautioned that a lot will depend on how prepared they are at the time of the tournament. He also pointed out that amateurs, especially those looking to make the breakthrough into the professional ranks, should get first preference on the under cards.

“For our professionals, it is how prepared they are. If you are not prepared, you don’t stand a chance. When promoters are looking to do their shows here, they are open to have local boxers on their under cards and once the boxers are in training, they will definitely get first strike to be on the under card. So they (locals) will have the opportunity for their fight to be shown overseas,” said Jones.

“So we have this pipeline with the platform in Jamaica, and we are looking for some loophole where we can have some activity, as we have boxers prepared, ready and looking (to the event) to keep their careers active, and we want to give them an opportunity,” he commented.

The Boxing Board has been in constant dialogue with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, as well as the Ministry of Sport, and was hoping to get the safety and health protocols for the six-week bubble-styled event approved by this month. Although several details are still being fine-tuned, Jones believes the series can be staged before the end of the year.

“It’s made just for television because we wouldn’t have a crowd. We have been seeking approval for months, and we were hoping to have something in October, but we have gone back and forth with the ministries. We gave our first draft four months ago and they immediately sent back comments, which showed they went through it properly.

“We did our research and looked at what the International Boxing Association and World Boxing Association protocols would be and made sure we had certain things in place, then we submitted to the Ministry of Sport and they again suggested some other tweeks and that has gone back to them,” Jones shared. “I get the feeling they want to resume sports in the country because they understand what it does, but at the same time it has to be safety first.”

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com