Khalid Shabazz, an executive member of the Uprising Boxing Gym, is calling on what is considered a dormant Antigua Boxing Association, to open dialogue with existing clubs across the island.
Shabazz, a former national basketball player, said open dialogue is the only way to resolve the issues affecting the boxing community here.
“I realise there are some challenges in terms of the synergy between the Boxing Association and the trainers and gyms like ours, so there definitely needs to be some work there … it’s just an opportunity for us to fix it and hopefully, the opportunity will come sooner than later,” he said.
“The Boxing Association does exist. We’ve reached out and hopefully, whatever their challenges are they will extend their hands and we would be able to make boxing what it should be,” he added.
Shabazz noted, however, that although the buck stops with the Boxing Association, some individuals and their stanch approach to the issues affecting the sport make it difficult for simple matters to be solved.
“Too often, there is a lack of progress because individuals have issues and they are not big enough to come to the table and to thrash out their issues; there is a lot of personality and egotistical behaviour. I am not saying who or what but I think it is time for us to put our differences aside and come together for the benefit of the sport,” he said.
The current head of the Boxing Association is Len Mussington, with Barrymore Stevens as secretary and Stephen Butters as vice president.
A number of boxing fanatics and clubs have raised concerns over the years as to the state of the sport in Antigua & Barbuda.
The Uprising Boxing Gym, in an attempt to raise the profile of the sport here, will host a series of bouts on Saturday at the old Ottos school compound located on All Saints Road, starting at 3 pm.