Boxing association sabotaging athletes’ future says former fighter

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Former boxer and member of the Uprising Boxing Gym, Khalid Shabazz, has accused the near dormant Antigua and Barbuda Boxing Association (ABBA) of suffocating the future of the country’s young boxers and has called on those in authority to step in and rectify the issues plaguing the sport.
Speaking on the heels of a successful showing in Barbados where four boxers from the Uprising Boxing Gym won medals in that country’s invitational tournament, Shabazz said when those at the helm of the organisation refuse to function, it is a clear case of sabotage.
“Several people have come through here and come through boxing without much success of making it to the next stage or to the next level and that is because you have an association that really isn’t functioning in terms of training or organising different meets and so on and because of that it has, in my opinion, sabotaged the future of a lot of people that could have made it further,” he said. 
Shabazz, who has gone on record before, complaining about the state of boxing here, appealed to the newly appointed sports minister Daryll Matthew and others, to join the fight.
“And I am making an appeal to the minister of sports [Daryll Matthew] and other individuals who have an interest in seeing young people being put to another level via the avenue of sports or boxing, I am appealing to them to let’s have a conversation and let’s press the individuals involved in the boxing association to get up off of their you know what, and to start doing something or have an election and get that body together,” he said. 
Several attempts, according to Shabazz, to bring the parties together in an effort to rectify the problem, have gone unacknowledged by the present executive. The boxing association, he added, continues to ignore the efforts of clubs like his to move the sport forward at an association level.
“There is a lot of personal and you know sometimes people have associations that they hug, like it belongs to them and so the short answer to that is no, they haven’t responded. They have issued a lot of disrespect and when I say disrespect because if you see somebody doing the work, it’s not just about acknowledging them doing the work but at least assist them in doing whatever they are doing for the betterment of all of us,” the former fighter said.
When contacted, President of the boxing association, Len Mussington, refuted the claims, adding that the organisation is fully functioning. He however refused invitations for a live interview on the matter.

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