Caribbean Boxing Championship had several firsts – Ninvalle

first_imgTHE recently held Caribbean Boxing Championship held at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall has realised several firsts for Guyana.Organised by the Steve Ninvalle-led Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), the Caribbean Championship was held from December 6 to 9 and attracted participation from 10 countries.“It is the first time in the history of this competition that every single bout had a neutral referee. It is also the first time that we had it streamed live and the first time that we had 10 foreign referees officiating,” Ninvalle informed this newspaper yesterday.The Caribbean Championship attracted participation from 130 athletes and officials and concluded with Guyana regaining the Champion Country title it lost last year in St Lucia, after financial constraints resulted in only four boxers being able to represent this country.“We had referees from Barbados, Curacao, Dominica, Guadeloupe and Trinidad and Tobago. They joined our own local brigade to ensure that we had officiating of a very high quality.In fact the region’s highest-ranked official James Beckles of Trinidad and Tobago arrived in Guyana on December 1 and held seminars the following day, so that every referee, both local and foreign, was brought up-to-date on the new rules and regulations of AIBA,” Ninvalle added.According to the GBA head, the decision to have the championship streamed live was welcomed by the entire Caribbean and Guyanese in the Diaspora.“Persons from the Cayman Islands, USA, Canada, Jamaica, St Lucia, Barbados, US Virgin Islands, England and several other countries logged on to view the fights. With adequate support we will have our three statutory competitions also streamed live,” the GBA boss declared.Guyana won 10 gold, three silver and two bronze medals, to be crowned Caribbean Champs. Ninvalle confirmed that he had expected gold medals from middleweight `Dynamite’ Desmond Amsterdam and bantamweight `Lightning’ Keevin Allicock. He was overwhelmed with the performance of light heavyweight Markember `Violence’ Pierrie, lightweight Jamaal `The Beast from Berbice’ Eastman and sisters Abiola and Alesha Jackman.“Violence is 38 years old and many in the boxing circle had written him off. He fought three gruelling battles over the four nights and deservedly won a gold medal. He can now boast of being a Caribbean champion. Eastman stopped the person who defeated Trinidadian Michael Alexander. It was a clinical display by a reticent fighter who easily filled the void left by Joel Williamson, who turned pro earlier this year without having the courtesy to inform the GBA.”“The Jackman sisters can only get better. I have personally followed their development and will promise that once they stick to the plan created by their coach, their names would be household in the world,” Ninvalle claimed.Guyana stepped up to host the 2018 Championship after original host Grenada dropped out because of “justifiable” reasons.Ninvalle explained that preservation of the Caribbean Championship was and is paramount. “I could not have allowed the regional treasure to be lost or destroyed.“The Caribbean has worked relentlessly to have this event back on track and to see it fail, even for one year would have spelt disaster. So, I must extend gratitude to the American Boxing Confederation (AMBC) and its president Osvaldo Bisbal, Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), the Government of Guyana and Director of Sport Christopher Jones, COURTS, Trophy Stall, Bounty Farm, Maggie’s and all others who supported this cause.“You have assisted in making Guyana and the Caribbean proud.”last_img