A highlight item on the Grand Bahama Office of the Prime Minister’s 45th Independence Celebrations Calendar of Events is the Thursday, July 12th Commonwealth Boxing Salute, now scheduled at the Mary Star of the Sea Hall, following a venue change.
On Wednesday past, the Commonwealth Boxing Council lauded the organizers of the event and the Bahamas Boxing Commission for its endorsement. CBC Chairman, Philip Smith Q.C. said “honoring the Bahamians who are included on the Commonwealth Roll of Champions” is quite significant.
“Allow me to place in record my admiration and appreciation of the Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Association that has been assisted by the Grand Bahama Port Authority, and endorsed by the Bahamas Boxing Commission, for mounting this celebration of our Commonwealth Champions from your islands.
“The Bahamas make up a tiny part of our global Commonwealth of Nations, with only a small population but clearly, when it comes to our championships in boxing, you punch above your weight. You will be rightly honoring your fellow countrymen, Gomeo Brennan, Steve Larrimore, Ray Minus Jr. and Jermain Mackey, who we are proud to be able to include in our Roll of Champions, which commences from the late 19th century to this day. The Roll of Champions includes some of the greatest names in our sport.
“So many former and current World Champions have first won the prestigious Commonwealth Title which has shown itself to be the gateway to World Honours” said CBC Chairman Smith.
The CBC has been a bulwark of support for Bahamian boxing through the years in providing a hands-on approach to the national program. While The Bahamas has interacted with other world boxing organizations in the past, it has only been a long-time member of the CBC. Two Bahamians, the late Wilfred Coakley and this columnist have served as president of the CBC.
Brennan is the Commonwealth Boxing pioneer for The Bahamas and in 1963 he captured the (then called British Empire) Commonwealth Middleweight Championship. A quarter of a century later, Minus Jr., in the bantamweight division, and light welterweight Larrimore further established the Commonwealth sports connection for their country.
In 2008, Mackey joined the group, as the Commonwealth Super Middleweight Champion.
Brennan and his wife Aloma will be traveling to Freeport for the event from their home in Miami Florida. Minus Jr., Larrimore and Mackey are based in New Providence.They all have confirmed their presence.
The Commonwealth Boxing Salute event will include awards presentations, dinner and an amateur boxing show. The YMCA in Freeport and the Pan American Caribbean Boxing Organization (PACBO) club in New Providence are providing the boxing bouts. Nathan Davis coordinates the YMCA boxers and Kato Ferguson is the trainer for the PACBO Club.
The amateur segment of the program has been endorsed by the Bahamas Boxing Federation and new elected President Vincent Strachan is expected to be in attendance.
Activities are set to begin at 7 p.m. next Thursday.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com or onWhatsApp at 727-6363.