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‘Shaka’ calls for Bowen’s head

Justin Marville

‘Shaka’ calls for Bowen’s head

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Forget that, the real fight has been the one of words before the Women’s World Boxing Championships.
Amidst charges and denials, former professional fighter Christopher “Shaka” Henry has taken the latest swing in his ongoing dispute with Gary Bowen, asking for the national coach’s resignation just one week ahead of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.
Henry has called for Bowen’s head because he deems the national coach to be in breach of the same rules that debar him from participating in an AIBA event, alleging Bowen to have trained a professional fighter earlier this year.
“If those who train professional fighters should not be involved in the event, then Gary Bowen should retire because he prepared Curtis Murray for a couple months for a fight he had in Trinidad,” alleges Henry.
Denied allegation
But Bowen has categorically denied the charge, saying that he never instructed Murray and the boxer was only allowed to use the national gym in preparation for a fight.
“I am not the coach of Curtis Murray,” said Bowen emphatically in a telephone interview with NATIONSPORT.
“I was only allowing him to use the gym but I have never instructed Curtis Murray. He was coached by Ian Sealy for a fight in Trinidad.”
It’s the most recent development in the saga which started when Henry claimed that the female fighters he trained weren’t given a chance to fight for spots on the team for the World Championships, which is being held here from September 9 to 18.
However, Bowen refuted such claims, noting that Henry initially told him about two girls who were interested in making the squad but Henry never brought him the actual fighters.
Bowen added that even if Henry’s boxers did make the team, the former pro would not be able to take their corner due to his role in promoting professional fights.
“This is not a personal something, but he would not be allowed to enter the field of play as their coach, and he, like many other Barbadian coaches, is not prepared to let Gary Bowen go into a corner with his boxers,” reasoned Bowen.
But Henry is saying that this should not be an issue considering that he doesn’t own a promoter’s licence and has been retired from professional boxing for the last two years.
“You can check with the professional boxing board; there’s no record of “Shaka” Henry ever applying for a promoter’s licence,” Henry said.
“And if I’m not allowed to help the kids because I was thought to be a professional promoter, then Gary Bowen should be fired because he trained Curtis Murray for about four months or so.
“I’m only trying to help though [because] when you look at the records, I have competed at almost all the international levels of amateur boxing. While I was an active professional I trained amateurs in Wales. I don’t see why I can’t do it here in my own country,” he added.