Bazilio appeals for K. Juman-Yassin’s return as GABA head

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… apologises for disrespect shown in the past
POPULAR boxing promoter Keith Bazilio is appealing to Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) president K. Juman-Yassin to return to head the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA).

In an exclusive interview with Chronicle Sport, Bazilio, a former amateur boxer, opined that Juman-Yassin is the one person who can steer the country’s amateur boxers to Olympic stardom.

“He is one of the persons with a passion for the sport and he felt that Guyana can get a gold medal at the Olympics so I personally think he should be the person to take over the GABA and steer Guyana to an Olympic gold, because of his passion for the sport.

“I’ve been on tours with him as GABA president and I have seen that passion in him that fighting spirit” Bazilio stated.

The former junior welterweight boxer said he (Bazilio) was mainly responsible for lobbying for Juman-Yassin to demit office some years ago and the former Chief Magistrate subsequently did not seek reelection when the Annual General Meeting was held that year and Bernard DeSantos was elected to head GABA.

“But I want to see him (Juman-Yassin) back at the helm of amateur boxing in Guyana and I want to take this opportunity to apologise to him … you see, at that time, I thought it was a good decision but since then, amateur boxing has declined and I apologise for being disrespectful to him in some ways and would want to make a public apology to him.

“Since his absence, amateur boxing has really deteriorated” Bazilio lamented.

According to the boxing enthusiast, rumour has it that Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Sport Steve Ninvalle and GABA vice-president Eustace Cuffy are two of the persons who are being considered for the post, but in his opinion, while both of them are hard-working individuals, he (Bazilio) does not think they are ready for the job.

“Both of them are hard-working and honest persons, but I don’t think they have what it takes as a leader to carry the sport forward to the standard of winning Olympic medals for the next Olympic Games.

“Juman (Yassin) said he’s not interested in returning as president, but he should be, because he’s one of the most suitable and knowledgeable persons to take Guyana to the medal podium at the Olympics.

“We have a lot of talented fighters and we need to create stars, gone are the days when an ordinary fighter can go at a tournament and win medals.

“We need to go back to the days of the Fordes, Harrises, Braithwaites, Thomases, Mullers and so.

“So I’m appealing to Juman-Yassin to reconsider his decision; he’s the only person who feels that boxing can win medals for Guyana at the Olympic level; we need a president with a gold medal ambition.

“It’s a shame that almost 30 years ago we got a bronze medal through Michael Parris and to date we cannot make an improvement on that.”

The GABA is currently being headed by Cuffy who took over the mantle after former president Affeeze Khan relinquished the post and this sparked confusion in the GABA, as several elected executives tendered their resignations.

Cuffy was then given the task of heading an Interim Management Committee and according to reports, is reluctant to vacate the seat and has indicated to the membership that the post is not going to be contested at the Extraordinary Meeting that is scheduled for December 8.

According to reports, Cuffy has quoted sections of the Constitution that give him the right to head the association until elections are due in 2013 and this has curtailed initial plans and should he adopt this stand, the other members would then seek alternative measures to regularise the situation including moving a no-confidence vote against him.

Those executives who have resigned are: vice-president Rudolph Torrington, secretary Otis van Lewin, and treasurer Navin Ketwaroo. French is still to officially resign by way of a letter.