Train our boxers at home – Bazilio


POPULAR boxing promoter Keith Bazilio is of the opinion that the team of boxers selected by the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) to undergo specialised training in Cuba would be better off if they stay at home and prepare for the 2012 Olympics.

In an exclusive interview with Chronicle Sport, Bazilio, a former amateur boxer said he feels that local fighters would benefit more from training at home rather than going to Cuba for what is supposed to be a three-month specialised training sting.

The boxing enthusiast stated that, when boxers from Guyana and other countries go to Cuba for specialised training, they are not given the type of training that can make them champions.

Explaining, Bazilio said many boxers from around the world go to Cuba each year to prepare for various championships, but rather than giving them the best coaches to guide them, (foreigners) the Cuban authorities would appoint second and third class coaches to carry out the training sessions.

The former junior welterweight fighter reminded that in 1976 the Cuban government appointed Trotman Daly to train boxers in Guyana and during his (Daly) stint here, he improved the standard of local boxers to the extent that when the locals went to Cuba for the Cardinal Games, the Guyanese contingent which included Brian Muller, Mark Harris, Reginald Forde and Courtney Atherley among others, completely dominated the Cubans on the opening night.

But the following day, Daly was sent to another province on what he claimed was another assignment that was more important.

Since then, Cuba has continued to send boxing coaches here to Guyana, but since 1984, Guyana has failed to improve from an Olympic Bronze medal that was won by Michael Parris in Moscow.

This has angered Bazilio and he is now calling on the relevant authorities to do what is necessary to improve Guyana’s standing in the world of boxing.

“The Cubans train fighters from all over the world and keep back the best knowledge in the sport for themselves.

They offer training stints to other countries, but they do not appoint their best coaches to these selected boxers. So when you (foreigner) meet with them in the ring, they (Cuban) already know what to expect from you, because they know about you and about your style and that is why they would always beat you.”

The former amateur boxer said the task of preparing a team for the 2012 Olympics should not be left to the GABA, since the Ministry of Sport should play a part also as other Caribbean countries have “stepped up their preparations and we have stepped down.

“We in Guyana ought to show more pride in our fighting spirit to achieve more, as sports is just like any other thing, what you put into it you get from it.

“So, instead of sending our boxers there (Cuba), we should use the money and encamp our best boxers and have them work with the coaches who have benefitted from international training courses.

“We should prepare our boxers with our own styles and techniques, as when foreign boxers are trained in Cuba, they are not offered the best training.”