A Bahamian national boxing team recently travelled to the Sugar Bert Boxing WBC (World Boxing Council) Tournament that was held at the Wyndham Orlando Resort & Conference Center Celebration Area in Kissimmee, Florida, and returned with six medals – two gold and four silver.
The team, which consisted of five members, including three from Grand Bahama, exceeded all expectations. Veteran amateur boxer Carl Hield led the way with a gold and a silver.
Winning gold for The Bahamas were middleweight Hield and heavyweight Keianno Greene and securing silver medals were Hield, junior lightweight Keianno Cox, welterweight Anniah Powell and super heavyweight Elijah Smith. The team was coached by Jermaine Gibson out of Freeport, Grand Bahama, and he was assisted by Bahamas Boxing Federation (BBF) President Vincent Strachan.
Strachan said their appeal for funds from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture fell on deaf ears prior to travel.
“We got no assistance from the ministry. I asked that they use part of our annual grant that is outstanding from 2021-2022, but they simply said they have no money,” said Strachan. “No obstacles or setbacks will prevent us from moving forward. God is with us.”
Hield scored a victory over American Cameron Cleveland in his first match of the competition. He then went on to take down American Anthony Munoz in a knockout in the semifinals and Ryan Maine in the final.
In his gold medal match, 15-year-old Greene defeated American Edwin Delgado.
“The team performed above expectations,” said Strachan. “Carl Hield was the only senior member and he led by example. Most of the junior boxers had one fight or none prior to this event. First-time national team head coach Jermaine Gibson did a great job with the team and deserves all the credit,” added Strachan.
The team was originally made up of 25 boxers but that number had to be reduced to five due to a lack of funding received by the national federation. The tournament was canceled in each of the last two years because of the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a development tournament for all levels.