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Having been floored by financial constraints in recent years, the Amateur Boxing Association of Barbados (ABAB) is looking forward to a promising 2013. That is according to the president of the ABAB, Anthony Jones, who strongly believes that boxing in Barbados is on the up despite a disappointing year. Speaking to NATIONSPORT in a telephone interview yesterday, Jones revealed that the association had been battling with financial issues for a number of years, due to the lack of assistance from the private sector. “I cannot remember the last time that corporate Barbados has assisted the ABAB with anything,” he acknowledged. “With the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) being our main sponsor, we have had to fund the association through events such as bingo, which does not provide the amount of income which we would like. “Even when we held our boxing meets, because attendance wasn’t as high as we expected, we didn’t make that much in gate receipts either.” But with the new year just over a week away, Jones, who has served on the board of the ABAB for over 20 years, said that plans were already in place to bolster the sport. “The association has sat down and plans are in place to ensure that all of our events in 2013 will be funded. “We have made some proposals, highlighting our plans for the next 12 months, and with some assistance from the National Sports Council and the BOA, every effort will be made to improve the image of boxing in Barbados,” he said. Jones pointed to the fact that despite the perceived lack of interest in the sport, Barbados still boasted of world class boxers, good enough to challenge the world’s best. And once the association receives help with funding and providing proper training facilities, Jones contends that the sky is the limit for our local talent. “Despite our obvious disadvantages, Barbados still has elite boxers who can compete on the world stage. “Once we can provide them with the necessary training facilities, and once we can get the financial assistance to arrange quality fights for them, there is no telling how far they can go,” Jones said. The association is looking to send boxers to both the Youth Olympics in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.