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Ex-boxer knocks women’s selection

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

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Yet another former national boxer has come out in protest against the final selection of the Barbados women’s team for the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships which are scheduled to get underway on Thursday.
Following on the heels of accusations by Christopher “Shaka” Henry that the best boxers were not chosen, Randolph “Hurricane Jackson” Jones is also “vexed” with the situation.
Geta Narine, Kimberley Gittens, Jenny Benedict, and Maliza Narine have been selected to represent Barbados, but Jones wants to know how the final decision was made.
“My concern was that we had no eliminations up to this point for Barbados. I think Barbados does not have the best team. There are better boxers than that,” he said.
Jones described himself as a former lightweight, featherweight and junior welterweight champion of Barbados who made the nickname Hurricane Jackson “a household name” in his heyday in the 1960s.
Now 65 years old, he still attends boxing cards even though he is not satisfied with what he is seeing.
It is not enough to choose a boxer because he or she trained with the national gym, he charged.
“I was a boxer. I know what it is to have [take] a cuff and to throw a cuff. We are running off to say we are holding Women’s Boxing Championships, but are we ready?
“There are people out there training people, but before we pick the 11 best, 12 best or one best, they should come through a stage to fight each other,” Jones said.
“That is not happening, and I am vexed with the selection.”
But Joyce Bowen, president of the Amateur Boxing Association of Barbados and a driving force behind the campaign to bring the championships here, is adamant that the best will be representing the country.
“They are girls who have been training from the school programme and came through the national boxing gym. They were selected because they were the best in the gym at the time,” the president said.
“We are not like England and Russia who have so many boxers and gyms. We have to choose the best we have from what we have.”
She pointed out that there were two others – one of whom is pregnant and the other injured – who are now unable to compete.
Bowen said Henry never brought the girls he trained to the national gym.
One of them was in Trinidad and he promised to check about another, but never communicated with the association afterwards, she added.