By Neto Baptiste
Former boxer and a well-known boxing enthusiast, Khalid Shabazz, has expressed disappointment over the handling of a long-standing “feud” between the sport’s governing body here and its members by two of the country’s major sporting institutions.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show Shabazz, who is also a member of the Uprising Boxing Gym, said pleas to both the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Ministry of Sports, have yielded zero results.
“I know I’ve had conversations with Chet Greene [President of the NOC] about it, and he gave some sort of undertaking that we will deal with it, and this has been a while now, but I think it has been in excess of three years. We have spoken to Colin James where we have sat in meetings and he had given some level of undertaking that it would be dealt with and that the association will be rectified and regularised,” he said.
“I’ve had conversations with Daryll Matthew and he gave a level of undertaking as well and that he has stated in the media that he must get all associations regularised and they must have national competitions,” he added.
Recent reports have indicated that newly-appointed Commissioner of Sports, Colin James, has met with both factions in an attempt to reach a compromise, but those efforts have yielded no results.
Shabazz labelled the long-running standoff as frustrating, adding that those in authority should do more.
“I can say, for me personally, I am disappointed, and as a matter of a fact, I would think that at some juncture, somebody would grow a conscience and say look, if we are not doing anything with it and for the sake of the country, for the sake of young people, I am holding onto this and it doesn’t make sense because I am not going to do anything with it, so let me give it to somebody else to be able to move it forward for the sake of our country,” the former boxer said.
Current president of the association, Len Mussington, has been at the helm for over 10 years without hosting annual elections as required by the body’s constitution. The association’s membership is also seemingly non-existent.
Head of the Uprising Boxing Gym, Anthony Severin, however remains optimistic that the current situation will not persist much longer.
“I am a person who always thinks that it’s going to work out, and once you keep doing the right thing, at the end of the day it is going to work out. I have been trying to be very calm about it and not step on anybody’s toes and try not to ruffle any feathers, but at the end of the day, the country will suffer and the young people end up maybe fall on the wayside or lose the opportunity,” he said.
Observer media has made several failed attempts to get clarification from Mussington regarding the current state of affairs within the boxing association and Mussington has refused to speak publicly on the matter.