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Boxing aficionados will get an early Christmas gift on December 1, 2 and 3. That’s when Barbados’ Pan American bronze medal winner Anderson Emmanuel, Adrian Biscette, and upcoming star Cobia Breedy and other local fighters take on the best of the Caribbean at the original home of boxing, the Steel Shed. The tournament, involving elite boxers, novices and women, will be staged to honour the “father” of regional amateur boxing, Dr Ronald Wilson. Wilson pushed for boxing to be included in the CARIFTA Games in 1985, and in 1986 the then president of the local association became the first president of the Caribbean Boxing Federation, a position which he held for 18 years. Secretary of the Amateur Boxing Association of Barbados (ABAB), Kathy Harper-Hall, disclosed that for over two decades Wilson would close his office and travel the Caribbean to be the official doctor at boxing championships, free of charge. “The esteem with which Dr Wilson is held in the Caribbean was reflected in the fact that within 24 hours of announcing this tournament, we received positive responses from 12 countries,” she said. However, the ABAB is still seeking a further $30 000 to cover the cost of the $112 000 tournament, which is being promoted as an answer to the inactivity of boxing in the Caribbean. The prohibitive cost and stringent international regulations to stage regional competitions have resulted in the dormancy of the Caribbean Championships since 2006. In addition to Barbados, boxers will be representing Aruba, Antigua, Grenada, Guyana, St Lucia, St Vincent, St Martin, Trinidad and Tobago and the US Virgin Islands. The action will begin at 6 p.m. each night with the entry fee being $20 per night. Fans may also buy a season pass for $50. In giving moral and financial support for the Dr Ronald Wilson Memorial Invitational, president of the Barbados Olympic Association, Steve Stoute, pointed out that the BOA’s mandate was to stimulate and facilitate sport in Barbados and that they felt honoured to be part of the tournament. “Dr Wilson played a key role in Olympism in Barbados and the BOA is grateful for his contribution,” he said. The BOA chief added that the off/on Caribbean Games are being targeted to finally get going in 2013, and the upcoming boxing tournament will contribute to the development of regional boxers who will take part in the games and/or the Olympics in London next year.