Boxing fraternity concerned about sport's future
With the first round of the Contender Series coming to a close with only three Jamaican boxers advancing to the quarter finals, many boxing enthusiasts are saying that they are concerned about the future of the sport in Jamaica.
Tsetsi 'Lights Out' Davis advanced, in what many consider controversial fashion, while established boxers such as Devon 'Concrete' Moncrieffe and Ramel 'Sub Zero' Lewis have crashed out of the competition. Nico Yeyo, considered to be the future of Jamaican boxing, also exited the competition at the first round with pundits questioning his readiness for professional boxing.
This has led to questions about whether the youngsters in the sport are ready to take over from the ageing seniors.
Leiza-Mae Keane, a local boxing manager said she is concerned about the future of the sport in the country.
"I am concerned," she said. "There is no future and no corporate backing. It's only there for The Contender. So eventually, The Contender series will produce overseas talent, overseas champions that will overshadow our Jamaican fighters."
Keane said that amateur boxers are struggling to make the switch to professional because "there are no opportunities for growth here in Jamaica and it's difficult to make it overseas."
However, JBBC director Kingsley Goodison is more optimistic about the future, as he said young promoters are now being given more chances to host events, which in turn means more activity for young professionals outside of The Contender.
"These young promoters are definitely a shot in the arm for boxing," Goodison said. "The transition from the amateur level into professional will be smooth. With regular promotion, these guys (transitioning amateurs) can get a decent money but it depends on the regularity (of matches) and sponsorship."
Goodison said that transitioning fighters struggle with stamina in professional bouts, which are longer, but more competition for them means they have to now be in the gym more often to prepare for these fights. He said that this, as a result, improves their natural fitness.