PRESIDENT OF the Jamaica Boxing Association (JBA), Stephen ‘Bomba’ Jones, said only locally based boxers will be considered for selection to the Commonwealth Games team headed to England in July this year.
However, with the national boxing club championships pushed back to later this year, Jones said there will have to be another basis for selection and pointed to the 2020 championships as a starting point.
Jameer Edwards, Ricardo Brown, Omar Campbell, Trevor Thonson, Damon O’Neill, Kheron Gilpin, Sanji Williams, and Lisa Frazer (female) were the boxers to secure their places on the team at the 2020 national championships.
Jones said once these boxers prove their fitness and readiness at upcoming invitational events, they will get first preference.
“Because we will not have the nationals, we will only be able to use local boxers for the Commonwealth Games.
“We will be sending our local boxers because we will be able to see them here. So we will be using this local core here to pick our team,” he said.
“The nationals is open to boxers all over the diaspora but we will only be having our invitationals where athletes can come into the Stanley Couch gym and show what they have,” he continued.
Although members of the 2020 Olympic qualifying team are in the frontline for selection, Jones warned that their places are not guaranteed.
“The nationals is what we normally use for selection process but from the last nationals, we made sure we still have our team in place from those who were preparing for the Olympics and couldn’t get to compete. So we still have a selected team of boxers from that group.
“We are not using this to pick the team but we have the pool that we will pick from. It is just a matter of waiting to see how many can go.
“So for now, we will just be rotating what we have. Unless the performances next month are not up to par and we see that no one has been training as they say they have been,” he stated.
TWO INVITATIONAL SPOTS
Due to the pandemic there has been no qualification for the games but Jones anticipates that Jamaica will get at least two invitational spots.
“We will get invitations to go to the Commonwealth Games. I have been told they will give us a quota and I am told it is two boxers or probably three, which is unfortunate because we have boxers who can represent different weight classes.
“We are awaiting the full feedback on that but we will make sure that Jamaica is represented,” he said.
He added that the hope is to return to the usual selection process later this year, when hosting of the national championships is more likely.
“It will not be until the end of the year that we have all things being equal and that we will be able to have our nationals again,” he said.
Olympic representative Ricardo ‘Big 12’ Brown, who went pro recently and will not be eligible, will not need a replacement for the games as there are no heavyweight classes at the Commonwealth Games.