T&T Amateur Boxing Association (TTABA) officially launched this year’s National Boxing Championships at the audio visual room at the Hasley Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, yesterday. Speaking at the launch, president of the TTABA Cecil Forde indicated that it is a very important year for boxing due to the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London, England.
The championships will begin on February 9 at the Cosmic Boxing Gym, Marabella, which will host the preliminary and semifinal rounds at a venue in Arima and finals at the Hasley Crawford Stadium beginning at 7 pm. The amateur association is expecting some 110 boxers with 25 female boxers included. The weighing and draw for the upcoming bouts will take place on Saturday at the Cosmic Boxing Gym. Forde also noted that this year’s championship will see foreign boxers with Trinidadian heritage along with local boxers, competing for a place in the T&T Olympic team.

Leroy Bates of Canada, Carlos Suarez and Lawrence Singh of the USA, are among the few named. Public Relationships Officer (PRO) of the TTABA, Willy Williams said, “I have not seen all of the entries so far but I have seen some and from what I have seen, it promises to be one of the best championships we have seen for a long time in terms of quality, not so much quantity with the inclusions of the foreign-based fighters, who will be participating in this tournament with a view of being selected on the national team for the 2012 Olympics.” “The Criteria for selection will be based on a national championship “box out” where we will select our best boxers for each division, some boxers may have five fights or 10 fights. They may have to fight every night until the final where the best two in each weight division will compete. The winner will then be assessed by the boxing association together with the technical staff and a  team will be selected,” explained Gordon Hoyte,  vice president of the TTABA.

-Liam Gordon