Jamaica vs Panama/Gloves Over Guns fight card launched

Jamaica vs Panama/Gloves Over Guns fight card launched

Saturday, February 22, 2020

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The Jamaica Boxing Board of Control launched the Jamaica vs Panama/Gloves Over Guns fight card on Thursday at Sports Development Foundation's conference room in Kingston.

The card will feature eight bouts — three youth (novice) and five elite bouts which will include at least three Jamaican Olympic hopefuls.

The fight card is scheduled for next Saturday at Montego Bay Cricket Club starting at 7:00 pm. It will be used to celebrate the official opening of the Montego Bay Boxing gym, which is scheduled for the morning, as well as provide an event for Jamaican and Panamanian boxers, who are Olympics bound, to compete against high-quality opposition ahead of the qualifiers.

Stephen “Bomber” Jones, president of the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control, said that the card was organised based on a request from Panama. “We've been doing a lot with boxing with the youths, our amateurs and our elite boxers. Not just Panama but the Caribbean and the Central Americans; they have been watching what Jamaica has been doing and at a time like this where you have the Olympic qualifiers coming up for the Americas, Panama president contacted us to say they would like a friendly international, a bout, a strong bout where their boxers can have a nice competition where they can get out their last nerves before they go to the qualifiers and our boxers can do the same. So we will be using our best boxers, our elite boxers to go up against theirs because it's a big year in boxing worldwide.”

Regarding the twinning of the bout with the Gloves Over Guns initiative, the president said that it was a good time to go back to Montego Bay where they will be opening the boxing gym, which will foster the board's Glove Over Guns community boxing initiative.

Third secretary at the Panamanian Embassy Roger Gonzalez Martinez welcomed the event. “I think that this event helps the fighters in both countries to improve their level. Panama have a good story in professional boxing. Panama and Jamaica will want to interchange cooperation in sport because Panama will prepare for the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2022 and Panama need help in track and field and Panama will help Jamaica in boxing and basketball and football. I think Panama and Jamaica have good relationship right now. I think that this boxing event is wonderful for both countries.”

According to Gilbert Vaz, Jamaica's head coach, “The boxers that we are gonna have — we have four elite bouts, starting from the 57kg that's the featherweight. We will be having Sanji Williams who was the MVP of the national championship; he will be going up against one of the Panama guys. We will be having at the 63kg Trevor Thomson who is actually one of the champions at the national championship, and we will be having Jonathan Hanson as well and our own Joshua Fraser from Canada. He is one of our Olympic prospects. We will also be having three youths on the fight card — Ashani Lawes, who is one of our bright promising young champions and Arnold Anderson will also be on that fight card, so we will pretty much have a good fight card lined up with all the boxers. We expect to win. We hope we can sweep all seven bouts.”

Jamaica lost the three matchups when Panama was here in April 2019, but the coach promised that the result will be different this time. “We definitely gonna be far better than the last time because we have an experienced team which we know that the Panama team is good, but it is always a tight match between us as the natural talent that we have with less resources, we are a force to reckon with.”

Sanji Williams, featherweight boxer out of Bruising Gym and MVP at the recently held national boxing champions promised fireworks. “Yes, I am looking forward to it. You can expect a night of explosive boxing. I will go in the ring and just keep the pressure on my opponent.”

Jonathan Hanson, who will be stepping up in class to fight as light heavyweight, is looking forward to “a very exciting fight”. He invited the people of Montego Bay to “come support your own cause I am a MoBay youth. I went to primary school at Catherine Mount, and so come support your own, come see mi do mi ting.”

The fight card received sponsorship support from ICool and IDrade, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Purity, Alacran Foundation, and Sports Development Foundation. Tashany Smith of Lasco (ICool and IDrade) was very happy to support the event and specifically the Gloves Over Guns initiative. She said, “We are supporting Gloves Over Guns. We have been doing this for a little while now, and we will continue this initiative and this sponsorship because it is something that Lasco feels strongly about — helping inner-city kids and helping people to just be better version of themselves.”

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