Maxwell plans to enliven Bermuda fight scene
A new boxing association has entered the ring and is eager to flex its muscles.
The Bermuda International Boxing Association (BIBA) has been formed with a mandate of promoting bouts and encouraging positive lifestyles among the Island's young men.
The association's president is Leroy Maxwell, a former light heavyweight boxer, who has some big plans in store for local boxing that he is determined to see come to fruition during his two-year term.
“Our mandate right now is to be one of the sanctioning bodies for boxing in Bermuda,” he said. “Our goal is to be able to host amateur and professional fights and also encourage young men in Bermuda to become part of boxing. Right now we are in the process of being approved by Government and the world governing body of boxing [International Boxing Association].”
BIBA's remaining executives are Nathan Dill, the vice-president, treasurer Troy Burrows, secretary Joanne Rego, Carmyn Waldorf, the executive secretary and public relations officer, and executive members Leon Raynor and Allan “Forty” Rego.
“We already have contacts to all the gyms down in Florida and everybody is champing at the bit to come here,” added Rego, an association executive member, former boxer and trainer.
“They are mostly Spanish fighters; guys from Puerto Rico, Colombia and Mexico. All these guys want to come here to fight.”
BIBA was formed in late 2012 and held its first AGM last summer to elect an executive.
Since then the fledgling association has invested in the sport.
“We have just brought in a brand new 24-foot ring that has not been used yet and we intend to stage fights at whatever venue we can get, whether it is Berkeley Institute, Bulls Head Car Park or the tennis stadium [WER Joell Tennis Stadium],” he said.
Maxwell believes that boxing can be a positive alternative to anti-social behaviour for Bermuda's young men.
“I think boxing can help to soften the blow of some of the social ills we are experiencing,” he said. “I think boxing is a way for our young males to be able to express themselves without getting into trouble.
“A lot of young males need an avenue and somewhere to go, somewhere to train and somewhere to express themselves. Our goal is to help them to be able to do that as well as develop them into sportsmen.”
Rego added: “We need to put on more fights in Bermuda so the young boys can get off the streets.
“We want to put on at least four fights per year because this is something that has been a big miss in the community.”
Maxwell believes that there is an abundance of untapped boxing potential in Bermuda.
“There is plenty of potential and right now there are a lot of young men out there, and even older men, that love to stay in shape that want to be a part of boxing just as a support figure,” Maxwell said.
“What we are trying to develop is to have that support system come together and develop boxing as whole.”
Maxwell believes that boxing can help young Bermudian men to broaden their horizons.
“Boxing is an opportunity and also an avenue, not only to compete here, but also to get young men to travel and see exactly what competition is like and what type of money and energy it takes to make things like this happen,” he said.
Boxing is the only sport in which Bermuda has won a medal at the Olympic Games.
Clarence Hill, the former heavyweight and Bermuda Sports Hall of Famer, captured the bronze in Montreal in 1976.