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Jones encouraged by Caribbean Champs showing

Published:Wednesday | December 11, 2019 | 12:40 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer

Jamaica Boxing Board president Stephen Jones says that the country’s performance at the recent Caribbean Boxing Championships, which took place in Trinidad and Tobago from December 4 to 9, was very encouraging going into next year’s Olympic-qualification tournament, which is set to take place in Argentina in March.

The Jamaican team won one gold, four silver, and one bronze at the six-day championship, and Jones said that they saw some very good signs going into the National Championships in January and the Olympic qualifiers in March.

However, he argued that the boxers could use a lot more activities going into the qualifiers.

“Based on what I heard from the coaches (Gilbert Vaz and Dewith Fraser), with a little more preparation, we could have come back with more gold. But I like the fact that we are peaking at the right time as we are shooting for the Olympics, and we have been trying to get them ready so we can have a strong Olympic team, and this was a good platform to see where we are,” Jones said.

“All the countries are fighting for the same thing. All the countries want to see if next year, they can qualify for the Olympics because the best of the best would have been at the Caribbean Championships, so the fact that we came back with a gold and mostly silver is very encouraging,” added Jones. “We have a little more work to do and when we have our Nationals at the end of next month, we will be ready, and we will know who will be real contenders for Olympic qualifications.

“But we were not only hungry to do well; some [boxers] were very disappointed in not doing better, and I was glad they were not satisfied with getting silver or bronze. So the fact that they want to get back in the gym, prepare for Nationals, and prepare for 2020 (Olympic qualifiers) encourages me. Plus, they all realise the work that needs to be done,” Jones said.

The National Championships are set for January 23-25 at Stanley Couch Gym, and Jones noted that any boxer from the diaspora with a Jamaican passport can try to make the team.

“We have had entries from London, Canada, and America, but they are all Jamaicans; they all have Jamaican passports. But this is going to be one of our most competitive championships,” he said

At the regional tournament, welterweight Joshua Frazer took the gold division and was named boxer of the championships. Middleweight Jonathan Hanson, elite featherweight Lisa Frazer, youth featherweight Sherikee Moore, and youth light welterweight Britney McFarlane all won silver medals, with super heavyweight Ricardo Brown taking home a bronze.