Local boxing on move, says Canadian coach
BY LIVINGSTON SCOTT Observer staff reporter
LOCAL boxing is on the improve again, according to former Jamaican boxer and coach of Canadian-based Dewith Boxing Gym, Dewith Fraser, following the local Amateur Boxing Championship held at the Stanley Couch Gym earlier this month.
However, Fraser believes a lot more attention must be paid to the mental aspect of the sport if the country is to make that step to the next level.
Fraser, who brought three fighters with Jamaican roots from his gym in Canada to compete at the local championships and to make the Jamaican Olympic team, told a press conference for the event that he expected his fighters to win their bouts and make the Olympic team.
However, none of the three was able to secure a place on the team from the championship and Dewith acknowledged that this was due to the high quality of the local boxers.
"We (Dewith Gym) did well, but the competition here is very good competition," he said..
"Although my last fighter, Andre Stewart, I though he did enough in the scoring to win the bout, but he didn't... but it's good to see the locals doing so well," he added after the championships ended.
However, he believes the locals boxers get too caught up in the euphoria and excitement surrounding the ring and are too easily influenced by the crowd, instead of concentrating on what they have to do in a fight.
"There is definitely a lot of talent here, but we need more competitions like this to showcase them," he stated.
"But they (local boxers) seem a little over-excited and sometimes that affects your performance in the ring... because when you're boxing you've got to stay focused on your fight and when you're in the ring you can't focus on anyone but your opponent," he explained.
"So it's the mental aspect of the sport that they need to work more on, because they have the physical aspects already," he pointed out.
Dewith also believes the media coverage of the event was commendable and with the effort of the boxing board, he expects the sport to continue to grow and he hopes to take an even bigger team here next year.
"The media was very good and I hope it continues like this as next year we will see the results of that... but I would love to come down again and bring a bigger team next year... now the locals know we're coming... it can bring a lot more people out," he said.
The soft-spoken Dewith was somewhat disappointed that his middleweight boxer Juvuani Dixon did not make the weight and welterweight Aljermaine Bennett was scheduled to fight at a later date.
"We have a little issue with the boxer (Dixon) that didn't make the weight here and I was very disappointed about that.... but hopefully, he will make weight next time," he said.
Bennett, who had his welterweight final against Bruising Gym's Michael Gardener postponed and rescheduled after fighting in the semi-final earlier in the day, was not permitted to fight twice in one evening.
However, Dewith said will be ready when the date for his fight is announced by the local board.
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