Yogi to bring back boxing
One of Barbados’ best is leading boxing’s big comeback. One-time Olympic pugilist Edward “Yogi Bear” Neblett is making his return to the ring as a promoter again for a four-bout card in June at the Wildey Gymnasium featuring Shawn Terry Cox.
Neblett made the announcement earlier this month in an effort to revive the dying local sport with a series of fight nights.
“It is a definite thing for boxing to continue because from my time and even before then boxing was on top of the line. If you could mention one sport that delivers for Barbados at major games then it was boxing,” reasoned Neblett.
“I see that boxing has been dwindling for the longest time and I’m not blaming promoters or anyone else because it has a lot to do with the boxers in this generation we have here. They need to do be a bit more serious about the sport, more committed to it and I think from what I’m what I am seeing for the last couple of months talking to the guys they are actually ready.
They’re backing me and pushing me, saying I’m the right guy to bring back boxing. So this is a first of a series of events because I don’t feel we should start and then stop. If you need boxing to continue just like anything else then you need to keep pushing it on. So a one-time show is not what you need,” he added.
One of Barbados’ best ever pro fighters, Neblett made a name for himself by becoming one of the first local boxers to represent the country at the Olympics in 1984.
But the once illustrious sport has fell on serious hard times of recent due to the absence of major fight nights and big drawing cards.
Local promoters have tried to stage cards, but willing fighters have been just as hard to come by as affordable venues.
However, Neblett is banking on Cox’s big name to help improve boxing’s lowly status after the top amateur rose to prominence by winning a Central American and Caribbean Games’ gold medal.
“Shawn Terry Cox is the man who can bring the crowds out. I know he’s training now and he’s in a position to get people to come to boxing,” explained Neblett.
“When I used to fight every venue used to be full and the same strategy I used to sell tickets is the same one I will be using now.”
Cox is slated to go eight rounds with seasoned veteran Cleveland Fraser in a card that will also feature Gardel “The Judge” Roberts against Stephon Goviea.
Revlond Lake is set to go head to head with Keshawn Simon while Keithland King fights Edmond Declu.
“We used to box for the love of boxing whereas I don’t know the reason people do it now. We need to get the boxers committed enough. We used to go around to places and do exhibitions for free so that when the people see us they will go and pay for a card to come and see u,” said Neblett.
“Now the fellas don’t do that so I have plans to bring the fellas back out in exhibitions around the country going to neighbourhoods where they have people. I’ve been to Nelson Street and all and you’d be surprised to see how many people turn out on the basketball court to take training from me.” (JM)