Guyana, the two-time, defending champions of the Caribbean Boxing Development Tournament may be knocked out of the December 13-16 fixture in St Lucia without throwing a punch.
The perennial opponent, adequate funding continues to batter the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) currently wobbling on the ropes.
According to GBA head, Steve Ninvalle, the cost to blanket the expenses of the 13 boxers, three coaches and two referee/judges who are expected to depart on Tuesday is now in the neighbourhood of $4M.
Ninvalle noted that the association sent out numerous letters seeking funding and has since received $700,000 from the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and a promise of $300,000 from the National Sports Commission (NSC).
The potential million dollar sponsorship from the two bodies still leaves the cash strapped GBA three million dollars adrift from sending a full strength contingent which won the inaugural tourney here in 2015 and last year’s edition in Barbados.
“It would be highly disappointing if Guyana is not able to defend their title” said a displeased Ninvalle yesterday in a last minute appeal.
Ninvalle who walked 100 miles last year to help to raise funds for the Barbados sojourn added that “The team is laden with talent and its disappointing and frustrating that you can be doing so well and still not receive the necessary support that was promised. We received serious pledges last November but those pledges have not become a reality.” He added that “It is almost belittling to know that a team that has done so well has to go out and beg to represent Guyana.”The team includes 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games silver medalist, Keevin Allicock, along with national light welterweight and middleweight champions Colin Lewis and Desmond Amsterdam. Allicock, Lewis and Amsterdam all returned with gold medals following last year’s championship in the ‘Land of the Flying Fish’.
Besides representing Guyana at the Tournament, Ninvalle highlighted an added incentive for the pugilists to lace it up in St Lucia. “
“Many of these boxers would use that for training for the all important CAC Qualifiers in Mexico next year, so that adds a bit more importance to it.”
David ‘Shakes’ Christopher, President of the St Lucia Boxing Association stated that the entire Caribbean is waiting on Guyana. Christopher further stated that it would be very disappointing if the powerhouse of the Region was unable to send a full strength unit.
The formidable opponent, inadequate funding may knock the GBA out for the count but Ninvalle still has his hopes and his guards up. “It is not too late, we can still be able to attend if we are fortunate enough to acquire the necessary funding.