Kathy Harper- Hall has refuted comments made by former national boxing champion Curtis Miller insinuating that she said professionals and amateurs should not compete against each other.
Secretary of the Barbados Boxing Association (BBA), Harper-Hall made it abundantly clear that the comment made by Miller was not true and that it was neither her belief nor that of the association.
During a recent interview with Barbados TODAY just before the BBA election, Miller was quoted as saying: “They don’t want nobody to tell them anything. When we were talking about bringing some of the amateurs on to the professional card, you had Ms. Harper- Hall saying you should not have an amateur on a professional card. I don’t know if she thinks this is netball.”
However, Harper- Hall in setting the record straight said: “I want to refute that comment because it is not true. I have never said that to him or anybody. And neither do I believe it and neither is it part of my belief about the sport.
“I have always supported it, not just me but the association and as secretary, I have always supported it. There has never been a time that a professional boxer was putting on a box card and asked the Barbados Boxing Association for amateurs and we have said no.
“Unless of course, it is a case where either we did not have boxers at the time, because remember the boxers have to be put in training for competition. For instance, we had a request for boxers from a gym to go to Guyana and we said no because of COVID-19.”
She added: “The monitoring commission has not given permission for our boxers to even train, so we can’t take our boxers who are not training and send them anywhere. So, that would have been the only time that somebody asked for a boxer and we would have said no.
“I cannot think of a time that any professional boxer has asked the Barbados Boxing Association for amateur boxers to box on their program cards and the boxing association has said no.”
Harper- Hall further explained that there was a time eight, nine years ago when the international body was not in favour of amateurs or professionals working together.
“Not necessarily training because you had boxing gyms all over the world where amateurs and professionals train together.
“For the 2016 Rio Olympics, they had relaxed the rules and had allowed professionals to participate. They are allowing it now. But in our local program, they are not encouraging you to do it in your local program where amateurs and professionals box each other.
“While they will allow the professionals to participate in the qualifiers, they did for the Rio Olympics just for the professionals. So, therefore at the international level, it has been relaxed and professional boxers now can participate in the Olympic Games if the association registers them for it. It is up to the association to decide but they will have to qualify,” Harper- Hall said.