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Women hard at it


SHARON AUSTIN

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WOMEN boxers from across the globe are hard at training in preparation for the world-class boxing bouts to be held here within a month. And Barbadians, especially boxing and sports aficionados, are being encouraged to attend the ten days of ‘rumbling and tumbling’ in the rings at the Wildey Gymnasium.Chairperson of the local organising committee (LOC) and Women’s Commission of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA), Joyce Bowen, wants Barbadians to turn out to the sixth edition of the Women World Boxing Championships from September 9 to 18.Bowen assured spectators that it would be “the best in boxing ever seen anywhere in the world”. “Everyone is saying these will be the best championships ever and we want people to come out in their numbers and support the Barbados team,” she said.“This is the first time our boxers in Barbados will be taking part in a world championship and they will need the support.”In addition, the LOC official is calling on corporate Barbados to come on board and assist with sponsoring the event. “Government is putting money into the championships because it knows of the benefits of the event. [It is important] to have this number of athletes and officials, along with family and friends here,” Bowen said.“I can see it bringing in much needed foreign exchange into the country, while putting us more on the map.” Barbados will be the first developing nation to host the prestigious championships, which were previously held in the United States, Turkey, Russia, India and China.Women between the ages of 17 and 34 will compete in the tournament, which will be staged in ten weight categories, ranging from 45 kilogrammes to 81 kilogrammes. It is expected to attract over 600 athletes and officials from 72 countries.It is anticipated that six-time world champion and 2008 AIBA Women’s Boxer Of The Year, Katie Taylor, four-time 46kg world champion Mary Kom, two-time world champions Mary Spencer and Arianne Fortin, and AIBA’s Women Boxing Ambassador Anna Laurell, who is also a two-time world champion and runner up, will compete.Representatives of AIBA were here recently to evaluate the island’s readiness and Bowen stressed that they were “really happy with the progress”, while adding that planning was more advanced than previously thought.        Women’s boxing is not a popular sport in Barbados and Bowen believes a contributing factor to this is that people do not understand the difference between amateur boxing and professional boxing, which they view on television. “. . . They don’t want their children involved in the sport because they think it is all [about] bloody noses . . . . Amateur boxing is nothing like that. The referees are there to protect the boxers; we wear head gear, a complete uniform, and a well protected sports bra, with breast protectors being optional,” she said.“It is a sport that has taught people self-control, helped them to become disciplined and to change their lives around.”But, she expects the interest to grow here and across the world, especially since women’s boxing has become an Olympic sport. Inter-island shows onlyAccording to her, the men had the opportunity to compete in the Olympics and world championships, but regrettably, women could only show off their prowess in inter-island competitions.Incidentally, this is the first time the competition is being held since the International Olympic Committee’s decision to include this sport in the 2012 London Olympics.Meanwhile, AIBA will be staging the Road To Barbados as a lead up to the championships. This initiative affords some boxers from lesser developed countries who could not have financed travel to these shores an opportunity to receive intensive training. The training started on Monday and will run until the end of the competition.Bowen disclosed that 49 athletes and coaches would be participating in the programme, and that local boxers could train along with them.With all this action coming to our shores soon, Barbadians have been encouraged to purchase tickets so they can get a ringside view of the women boxers battling for the various medals at stake. (BGIS)
 
COMPETITION RULES•In all AIBA events Women elite and Youth girls cmpetitions, the bouts shall consist of four  rounds of two (2) minutes each. •At the end of a contest, the winner shall be determined on the basis of the total number  of correct scoring blows scored during the bout. The boxer having scored the most correct blows shall be declared the winner. •If a boxer is “down” and fails to resume boxing after this boxer is counted out to ten, the  opponent shall be declared the winner by a knock-out. •The AIBA scoring system shall be used in all AIBA approved events. In case the AIBA Scoring System is being used, no judges’ score sheets shall be kept. All information  required for making up the decision is recorded by the computer and, at the end of the contest, printed out automatically. •During each round, a judge shall assess the respective scores of each boxer according  to the number of scoring blows obtained by each. Each blow to have scoring value  must, without being blocked or guarded, land directly with the knuckle part of the closed  glove of either hand on any part of the front or sides of the head or body above the belt. Swings landing as above described are scoring blows.

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