The Jamaica Boxing Association (JBA) and GC Foster College have joined forces for the growth and development of the sport of boxing in a structured way that will be beneficial to both institutions.
They announced the partnership on Tuesday at a function that patterned a 10-round boxing event, in the ring of the boxing gym at the GC Foster College.
Stephen “Bomber” Jones, president of the JBA, entered the ring in the second round to present his remarks. He spoke about his association’s expectation from the partnership, “I think we can expect to change the game, the sport of boxing not only in Jamaica but in the Caribbean. GC Foster College speaks for itself. What they do for the community and the country, aligning with an institution like that is only going to raise our game, raise our level in terms of the boxing that we have here, the coaches that we have access to, the officials that we have access to in terms of recruiting and have a hub which we can train from a national program, which we can invite international bodies to come and do courses here and to have it elevate our sport on that level.
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“I think number one is key and then the fact that GC Foster has agreed to be the hub for Gloves Over Guns in Spanish Town where we can do the sport for development and deal with the boys and girls here, have them a part of the invitationals and have them a part of the mentorship program, I think is going to go a long way, so we are very, very excited.”
He indicated that his association had already given some equipment to the college under the arrangement and that a new ring is on its way to Jamaica for the college.
Importantly, he announced that the gym at GC Foster will be given national gym status as the third national gym and will be fully supported by the board.
Round three saw the entrance of Maurice Wilson, principal of GC Foster College into the ring. He had a lot to say. “I am extremely excited for the community of GC Foster College and its environments – Spanish Town and indeed St Catherine. I think this was a venture long in waiting. I do believe the benefits are going to supersede the time that we waited.
“We have seen where boxing would have changed the lives of so many youngsters and we mention today at the launch about Sonny Liston who had numerous problems with the law, became heavyweight champion and it helped him somewhat. Mike Tyson, Cassius Clay later Mohamed Ali really stood up against certain things, however, they thought that he was breaking the law but boxing was able to guide him along a particular pathway.”
Wilson spoke about the importance of the partnership, “and so it is important for us because we are cognizant of some of the factors that are facing youngsters in Jamaica. We are sure that with the collaboration of the boxing board association we will be able to give the youngsters greater opportunities, we will give them options in terms of career, becoming a professional boxer, we will engage them in their extra-curricular activities that are done in a more purposeful way and the fact that the boxing board association is providing relevant and current equipment will make it even so much easier.”
Wilson expects success from the venture, “And the slogan, the mantra for the Jamaica Boxing Association is Gloves Over Guns and we want to continue to endorse that mantra. We also believe that if there is any institution in Jamaica that can provide the proper base, the proper support, that institution would be GC Foster. So we are extremely happy about the collaboration. GC Foster will benefit. Jamaica will benefit.
“The youngsters in this country will benefit and overall the economy can benefit because as you know professional boxers that do well make a lot of money. We do expect a lot of success to come from this venture.”
Jackie Cowan, first vice president of the Jamaica Olympic Association, who represented president Christopher Samuda, and Denzil Wilks, general manager of the Sports Development Foundation, spoke in rounds five and six, respectively, while giving their full endorsement for the announcement and promised their organizations’ support.
Professional boxer Tsetsi Davis welcomed the partnership. He said that it would lead to a better arrangement for boxing at the college. He also indicated that he plans to be back in the ring as soon as the boxing board announces a fight card.