CBC breeds World Champions
Published: Aug 31, 2013
Recently in this space, the value of the Commonwealth Boxing Council to Bahamian boxers was highlighted. Quite frankly, throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, with the exception of the United Kingdom, boxing fraternities fail to maximize the connection to the CBC.
The case can be argued that a good percentage of boxers from some other parts of the Commonwealth have in fact had great success outside of the CBC. This has not been the case for The Bahamas. If you take Elisha Obed (our only authentic World Champion) out of the mix, the facts indicate that the CBC has been and remains the best route for Bahamian boxers to take.
Meanwhile boxers in the UK gladly use the CBC as the springboard to further success. Simon Block, the secretary of the CBC, provided for me a detailed list of Commonwealth champions, just from 2004, who went on to world title status. In just nine years, 11 boxers have built on the CBC championship base to gain shots at world titles.
A Commonwealth title is indeed a noteworthy achievement. It carries the kind of weight that often results in that big opportunity that every boxer dreams of.
The list of Commonwealth champions (2004-present) who have evolved to being owners of world crowns includes: Bantamweight kings Joseph Agbeko of Ghana and Jamie McDonnell of England; featherweight Nicky Cook of England; super featherweights Alex Arthur and Ricky Burns of Scotland; lightweight Amir Khan of England; light welterweight Junior Witter of England; middleweight Darren Barker of England; super middleweights Clinton Woods and Carl Froch of England; and light heavyweights Woods of England and Nathan Cleverley of Wales.
Agbeko held the Commonwealth title 2004-2006, then became International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion 2007-2009 and 2010. McDonnell was the Commonwealth champion 2010-2012 and became IBF champ earlier this year. Cook, the Commonwealth champion of 2003-2005, reigned in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) 2008-2009. Arthur, the Commonwealth titleholder 2004-2006 was the WBO champ in 2008. Burns, the Commonwealth champion 2008-2009, held the WBO super featherweight title 2010-2011 and captured the WBO lightweight crown in 2012. Khan, the Commonwealth lightweight king 2007-2009, was the World Boxing Association (WBA) light welterweight champ 2009-2011 and the IBF light welter king in 2011. Witter, the Commonwealth champion 2001-2006 was the World Boxing Council (WBC) 2006-2008. Barker, the Commonwealth champion of 2007-2010, won the IBF title earlier this year. Woods, the Commonwealth champion 1999-2000, was the IBF light heavyweight champ 2005-2008. Froch, the Commonwealth champion 2004-2006, was the WBC king 2008-2010 and then won the IBF crown in 2012 and he got the triple with the WBA title earlier this year. Cleverley, the Commonwealth champion of 2008-2009, became the WBO king 2011-2013.
The aforementioned is surely an indication of the quality tradition of the CBC. Block and his colleagues, through the years, are to be lauded for maintaining the respectful image of the CBC. It is indeed a rich legacy that the CBC has. Bahamian boxers and their camps are advised to take full advantage of this country’s strong relationship with the CBC.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org.