Former Olympian and light heavyweight champion Shawn Terry Cox wants to see boxing in Barbados set on a path of real development and suggested that the money being spent by the Barbados Boxing Association (BBA) to do other things should go towards building a home for the sport.
The 46-year-old who was one of the top boxers on the island during the early 2000s said that the money being spent to send away athletes to train overseas should be used to purchase land and start building a home for boxing.
“I went to the Olympics in 2000, name somebody else from Barbados that went to the Olympics. We haven’t had anybody since 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, I am the last boxer that went to the Olympics. That should not be happening. Why? We have no home,” Cox told Barbados TODAY.
“If they got Crop Over, we can’t go in the stadium. If they got to track and field we can’t go and train because they rent out the stadium and the storeroom we train in at the stadium we can’t go in. If they got a calypso or Dub fete we can’t get in the stadium and train.
“The fellas can’t say they are going home to do their homework and then go into the gym at seven o’clock. They can’t do that at the stadium because the place shuts off at a certain time so you can’t say you’re going there to train,” he added.
Cox believes it is time to stop the long talk and start showing some action because he is not happy with the development of boxing in Barbados.
“I stopped following amateur boxing for a long time. I don’t go to amateur boxing fights, I don’t watch amateur boxing like one time because as a lot of the fellas say, it is just a lot of talk. The only way to get rid of the rain is to seek shelter. Boxing in Barbados doesn’t have any shelter. Boxing doesn’t have a home. We need a home,” Cox stressed.
“They just announced a new president of the boxing association (Melissa Branford- Jones). But how are you going to get hold of her? Where is her office? You got to call her at home or at her office. But not the boxing association office. We have nothing to show.
“This is 2021, I am 46 years old and we have no place to call home. Boxing has nothing. I can’t say I can go watch some of the youngster’s train. At the beach, gymnasium, where,” he asked? As someone who wants to see the betterment of the sport locally, Cox believes that the BBA needs all the support it can get.
Cox said that he is open to lending assistance to the development of boxing in Barbados. However, everyone he stated must play a part.
“It is not about getting paid. It is about giving back and I would love to give back.
I would like to go to the Barbados boxing gym – not a storeroom – and help,” Cox stated.
Unless things change drastically, Cox said he cannot foresee anyone from Barbados representing the island in boxing at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
“Honestly, no, because there is no place they can go and practise. It is ok to go overseas but in the case of America, do you think I will teach you everything I know when I got three or four youngsters? America looks out for its own but the only body that doesn’t do it is Barbados.
We got to look out for our own first,” Cox explained.
A former gold and silver medallist at the 2002 and 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games in the light heavyweight division, Cox who began his journey in the sport as a teenager noted that boxing had what it takes to go far in Barbados.
“Amateur boxing can go far in Barbados. We got so many youngsters. I see youngsters do things in the ring that it took me a while to do. I asked a youngster one day who taught you that but he didn’t even realise what he did. If we can take youngsters like him and push them, they would be Barbados’ top amateur boxers.
“A lot of these youngsters end up going and working in gas stations and elsewhere to survive like most things in Barbados.
We got talented youngsters but they got to survive and do what they have to do,” Cox said.
One of the best sportsmen to come out of the Collymore Rock, St. Michael community, Cox also touched on the fact that having a mere one coach to train the schools was very difficult and was something that needed to be looked into seriously.
However, he made sure to give words of advice to the young upcoming generation.
“What I know now if I had known when I was younger, you would probably have needed to go through my agent to speak with me. If you have the right people around you to tell you when you are doing foolishness or whether you are going on the right path you will go far. But if you got somebody in your ears telling you what you want to hear all the time you ain’t going nowhere.”