In a state of inactivity for many years, the Bahamas Boxing Federation (BBF) is looking to reactivate the New Providence Boxing Association to assist with the development of the sport of boxing here in the capital.
Also, it has been reported that there is unrest among some of the local clubs. BBF President Vincent Strachan is optimistic that the revitalization of the New Providence Boxing Association will help to alleviate some, if not all, of the issues.
The New Providence Boxing Association itself has been dormant for a few years. Strachan has appointed former local standout boxer Valentino Knowles as the new president of the body, and Knowles will put together a team of officers who he feels comfortable working with.
Knowles said he grateful for the appointment and he will be looking to bring unity to the sport of boxing in New Providence.
“I am very grateful,” he said. “Thanks to the former president Wellington Miller who has always been like a father figure to me in and out of the sport. I also want to say thanks to president Strachan for the appointment. I give thanks to the Most High for this opportunity and for them believing in me. We’re at the ground level now but we will get things moving in the right direction. We have to start in the communities and get boxing to the point where it is one of the more productive sports here in New Providence.”
Knowles, 34, has won medals at almost every level as an amateur fighter for The Bahamas. He is a former CARIFTA gold medalist; he won a gold at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, a silver at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, and a bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.
Knowles also represented The Bahamas at the 2009 AIBA (International Boxing Association) World Boxing Championships in Milan, Italy, and the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. He was also on the doorstep of qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
Knowles fought two professional bouts in 2013, winning both. He defeated American Ruben Ozuna and Mexican Alejandro Ochoa, but his career was cut short after being shot multiple times in 2014. Knowles said he is grateful for the opportunity to serve and is looking to get more and more youngsters involved in the sport of boxing.
“Right now, the goal is to revitalize the sport and settle the controversies that are ongoing between the clubs,” said Knowles. “Boxing will never rise as long as negative feelings exist toward each other. We can’t win if we’re not right within. We intend to adhere to the needs of the New Providence boxing community and ensure the boxers are at the forefront. There must be constant communication between the federation and the association and we must be in line with international standards.”
BBF President Strachan implied that mediator was needed between the federation and the clubs in New Providence. He said he is thrilled to have Knowles on board as an administrator in local boxing.
“It became necessary to appoint an executive team to take the association to another level,” said Strachan. “This will be the flagship association for all associations in the country. Valentino is the new president, on an interim basis for one year, and I’m looking for great things from him. He is very enthusiastic and energetic and I’m delighted to appoint him as the president of the New Providence Boxing Association.”
The New Providence Boxing Association will function as a member of the Bahamas Boxing Federation and will have jurisdiction over the local boxing clubs on New Providence.