Ricardo Brown punches ticket to Tokyo OlympicsThursday, June 10, 2021
Jamaica will be represented in boxing at the Olympic Games for the first time in 25 years after super heavyweight Ricardo Brown booked his spot in the Tokyo Games set for next month — based on his ranking.
He will be the first Jamaican boxer at the Olympic Games since 1996 when the Games were hosted by Atlanta, Georgia, and it brings to four the total number of sporting disciplines that Jamaicans have already qualified for, joining track and field, aquatics (swimming and diving), and gymnastics.
Seven Jamaican boxers were due to travel to Argentina for a final qualification competition but after the event was cancelled last month, a decision was taken by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Boxing Taskforce, the body responsible for the sport at the Games, to use a ranking system to hand out the berths, the Jamaica Observer was told by veteran boxing administrator Leroy Brown yesterday.
The 31-year-old boxer, nicknamed Big 12, who won a bronze medal at the most recent Pan American Games and is ranked number four in the Americas in his weight class, had accumulated enough points to secure his spot, Brown said.
Points were used from the last two Boxing World Championships as well, and Leroy Brown said there was a possibility that more Jamaicans could earn their spots in Tokyo.
“We will know in another week or so if any other of our boxers will join Ricardo,” he said. “One or two of our boxers were doing quite well and would have had a good chance if they had gotten the chance to go to Argentina and fight, but the qualification is still going on and we will see.”
Ricardo Brown has been based in Canada for over a year, where he trains at a gym owned by a former Jamaican boxing representative, Dewith Frazer, and Leroy Brown said his success in Tokyo could literally come down “to the luck of the draw”.
The local boxing board official explained that Ricardo will come up against tough competition in the super heavyweight category, and added that in the sport they will need, “a little luck to go with their talents”.
The draw, he said, usually allows the higher-ranked boxers to get byes in the first round but all of the fighters names will be pulled from a hat to decide who fights who and when, “a first-round bye for Ricardo would help,” he said.
— Paul Reid
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