Opportunity for pro boxing resurgence
Published: May 06, 2013
There are a few developing situations that could result in bringing again, the professional boxing scene, into consistent activity. The economic crunch virtually knocked out local promoters, and boxing shows have been sporadic at best over the last three years.
Let me emphasize that this has been the case despite the minimal sanctioning and licensing fees the Bahamas Boxing Commission came down to, in order to try and accommodate promoters. At a recent meeting of the Commonwealth Boxing Council (CBC) Board of Directors, which I attended, the sparseness of boxing shows in a number of the CBC’s jurisdictions were discussed. However, coming out of the CBC Interim Meeting in London was certification of contender status for four Bahamian fighters.
Bahamian Heavyweight Champion Sherman ‘Tank’ Williams headed the list. Ratified following him, were light heavyweight Ryan McKenzie, middleweight Taureano Johnson and lightweight Edner Cherry. The presence of four fighters who are prominent on the world boxing stage is about as healthy as the country has been able to get through the years.
Williams has boosted his reputation in recent years despite having a limited amount of boxing opportunities (no fault of his). He is the most decorated Bahamian fighter, ever, when it comes to regional titles. Williams is currently the World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) China Zone and Asia Pacific Champion. He has also fought for the World Boxing Federation’s (WBF) heavyweight title and was set to capture the championship when champion Evander Holyfield took the easy way out. His camp appealed to the referee to stop the fight before the start of the fourth round, claiming the inability to continue because of a cut eye. The bout was declared a no-contest.
Williams is a former National Boxing Association champion and previously held both the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) CABOFE and World Boxing Association’s (WBA) FEDECARIBE crowns. His career is authentic and although 40, his market value is still solid. In fact, presently, his camp is in talks with the Ministry of Grand Bahama and the Ministry of Tourism, about a defense of his Pacific Rim titles in Grand Bahama as a part of the 40th Bahamian Independence Celebrations.
The show is a good possibility. McKenzie and Johnson are unbeaten and in prime marketing position. This is a great time for both to encourage their camps to focus seriously on future fights in their very own backyard. This is the way of the boxing world. Up-and-coming fighters as a rule are guided carefully and placed in situations most advantageous for them.
The Bahamas should be the base of their future fights. The hometown edge is a reality in boxing. What’s wrong with Williams, McKenzie and Johnson utilizing that route? Just as government agencies rally around track and field to have major events, this ought to happen, to a certain degree, with our professional boxing stars.
Cherry, admittedly, is a different case. A bout here with him as the headliner, would be simply huge, given the density of the Haitian population in New Providence and indeed The Bahamas. Cherry is on record for having lived his first 11 years in The Bahamas, before the family moved to Florida. I have spoken to him on a number of occasions about fighting in the land of his birth. While always inclined that way, he has never been able to put all the pieces together.
The CBC highly recognizes the four Bahamian fighters. Opportunities for Commonwealth elimination bouts are options for the four of them. Indeed, their CBC status is very encouraging and it bodes quite well for a resurgence of professional boxing in The Bahamas.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org