|CBC Zonal Championships give boxers another stage|
NG Columnist/Sales Executive
Published: May 26, 2012
The Commonwealth Boxing Council has endorsed a zonal category for its member organizations.
Last year the new format of Zonal Championships was adopted to give up-and-coming boxers, and also those who (though veterans) have failed to make the official contenders list of the CBC, a stage that could lead to more ring prominence.
Canadian Ed Pearson is the current president of the CBC and a strong advocate of a boxing revival in the Caribbean and the Americas.
“I’m convinced that the zonal championships can help greatly to build more enthusiasm about boxing in our area. It gives boxers who have not reached that level of being a Commonwealth contender a way to climb the ladder,” said Pearson recently.
For years, some boxers throughout the organization, which has 57 member nations, were caught up in a middle ground situation. Boxers who have not qualified for CBC status are often relegated to being mere stepping-stone opponents. With the Zonal Championships now a part of the CBC mix, all boxers who are active (with more than five official matches) now have the opportunity to be showcased and get into a title picture.
All Zonal Champions would be considered for CBC contender status, thereby being positioned for better offers from promoters around the world. In the past, with few exceptions, Bahamian boxers have been steered into campaigning in North America.
That’s understandable because they and their handlers are more familiar with the region of the Americas.
Bahamian boxers are qualified for the Caribbean/Americas Zone. With influence from the CBC, the zonal format presents a rather nice avenue for advancement.
Will Bahamian boxers take advantage of the opportunity?
Local boxers and other members of the local fraternity have not paid attention to having licenses renewed annually. The Bahamas Boxing Commission cannot officially represent boxers unless they are licensed. Commissions around the world are closing up previous loopholes that allowed unscrupulous managers and promoters to exploit boxers.
Governing boxing bodies are insisting more and more that credentials from the based jurisdictions be presented prior to sanctioning shows. In other cases, boxers, managers and trainers who travel and compete without contacting area commissions and boxing boards are facing suspensions.
In The Bahamas, quite a few in the professional boxing family fall into that category. The commission has repeatedly made boxers and those who represent them aware of the conditions.
For the Zonal Championships, only licensed boxers will be put forth as contenders. All active boxers are urged to make contact with the commission to ensure that they are operating within the guidelines.
Once that happens, they will be able to take full advantage of whatever opportunities become available through the world organizations the commission is associated with.
The Commonwealth Zonal Championships category is a case in point.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org.