Former boxer: Sport needs help

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Former national boxer and former world Jr Middleweight champion, Maurice Hope, feels the sport is in need of urgent assistant here if boxers are to receive the level of training required to excel at the regional and international levels.
The athletes, according to the Antiguan, suffer from a host of problems.
“We don’t have the equipment and most of all, the boys are not getting bouts which they actually need to keep them going. They need the sparing and with somebody who is not just as good as them but better so they can learn. But right now they can’t get anything,” he said. 
The boxing association, Hope added, has been working behind the scenes to have the issues addressed. He, however, said that the association would need the help from both the government and the business community.
“They have been trying and in fact they can only do so much and I am part of it [boxing association] too. I know there are various places we have been trying for years but nothing is definitely happening. They [boxing association] meet all the time. Maybe not official but they meet, sit down and they discuss the problems and we have met with the ministry over and over,” he said.
 However, in spite of the many issues, Hopes is pleased that the boxers have remained focused on representing Antigua & Barbuda well.
“In April they went to St Lucia for the OECS Games and they were very successful. In July, they went to the Creole Games and came out with some good gold medals and we hope they can continue from that. Also, a couple of the boxers are coming to England and settling down there and in fact, I’ve got one boy there by the name of Alston Ryan and he is doing very well,” the former boxer said, adding that it is his wish to have a number of boxers live and train in England. The Uprising Boxing Gym and the Cobra Boxing Gym are currently the only two active gyms in Antigua.

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