Jamaican boxing talent on brink of missing Tokyo Olympics

From left: Joshua Fraser, referee Kevin Stuart and Jameer Edwards.

One of Jamaica’s best bet in boxing to make the Olympic Games in Japan, Joshua Fraser, was controversially disqualified at the Jamaican Championship for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

Referee Kevin Stupart awarded the contest to was awarded to Jameer Edwards after disqualifying Fraser who is the Caribbean welterweight champion. Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones, president of the Jamaica Boxing Board (JBB) said Fraser’s chances of making the Olympic team depends on the fortunes of Edwards who has the first shot at qualification in Argentina. “The team selection now would be all those that won in their respective divisions and they will get the chance to go in Argentina and make the Olympics there if they qualify,” said Jones.

“If Edwards qualifies in the welterweight division, Joshua is out. He no longer has any options of getting into Tokyo because only one boxer from a counter per weight class can go. If he [Edwards] doesn’t, there will be another qualification round in France and by right, Joshua will get the opportunity to go there and see if he can qualify. But it all depends on if Edwards does well or not. If he does well then Joshua’s Olympic road would be over,” Jones reiterated.

From Left: SanJi Williams, most outstanding boxer; Leroy Brown, Jamaica Boxing Board of Control gen sec and boxing legend Richard ‘Shrimpy’ Clarke.

Forty of Jamaica’s best novice and elite boxers, both local and overseas-based, turned up at the Stanley Couch Gym last week for the Jamaica Boxing Board’s three-day national senior championships. All the fights on the final night were finals.

The first fight of the night went to novice lightweight Juesere Heron of Stanley Couch Gym over Antonio Webster of Savlamar on points. The second fight picked up the tempo and was considered the most exciting fight of the night, as feather weight (57 Kg) Marvin Shae of JDF Gym went down to Sanji Williams of Bruising Gym by way of unanimous decision. Williams went on to be named the most outstanding fighter of the championships.

Another JDF fighter went down as well when lightweight (63 Kg) Damion Williams succumbed to overseas-based Trevor Thompson who fought under the banner of Stanley Couch Gym. Thompson punished Williams in the first round and had him on the ropes several times. Another Olympic hopeful, Jonathan Hanson of Stanley Couch lost to Damion O’Neil in a middleweight (75K) showdown and in the penultimate bout of the night, it was an easy win for Keron Gilpin of Bruising Gym over Renaldo Beckford of Oraccabessa.

The heavyweight matchup between Omar Campbell of Bruising Gym and Jermaine Richards of Stanley Couch was a mismatch as Richards had no answer to Campbell’s punches in the first two rounds. Richard’s corner led by former professional boxer and coach Richard ‘Shrimpy’ Clarke threw in the towel at the end of the second round, ending his fighter’s punishment. Stanley Couch was declared the top gym with 24 points, followed by Bruising gym on 23 points, while JDF was next with 17 points.