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Smith quits boxing role

Down and out: Smith has accused the organisers of Fight Night, and others, of disrespect. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

Debra Smith has resigned as president of the Bermuda Boxing Federation.

Smith stepped down under controversial circumstances at the beginning of the month, leaving the only national governing body for boxing in Bermuda that is recognised by the International Boxing Association without a leader.

Her resignation followed a long-running feud with the sport’s various stakeholders who she has accused of flaunting the rules and disrespecting her organisation.

“The promoters continue to disrespect and not adhere to either the BBF or International Boxing Association rules,” Smith wrote in an e-mail. “The boxers only want to compete, and do not care about the politics or the rules that govern and protect them in boxing. The gyms do not respect the BBF at any level, and absolutely refuse to abide by the rules and regulations that govern us.

“They have a copy of the constitution but they choose not to listen, and choose to do whatever they want, so I told them to do whatever they want, I’ve washed my hands [of them].

“I let the International Boxing Association know I will never work with these people again. So as far as they [the IBA] are concerned there’s no boxing federation in Bermuda now because I was the only registered member this year.”

Before resigning Smith had been at odds Teachers RFC, who organise the annual Fight Night event at Berkeley School, because she said it had not been sanctioned by the BBF.

However, because organisers labelled it a friendly event it does not need to be sanctioned by the BBF under the rules of the IBA.

Smith further contends that boxers from Allan ‘Forty’ Rego’s gym who participated in last month’s Fight Night were ineligible.

“Forty Rego’s team is called Bermuda International Boxing Association, and they cannot be an international boxing association because the only international boxing association is the governing body, which is the International Boxing Association,” Smith wrote.

Smith claims Robert Somner, Richard Reno and Ben Green of Rego’s Gym all fought in contradiction of IBA rules, while another fighter, Ryan Gibbons, violated the rules by competing as an amputee.

Smith also took issue with those who have not paid their annual membership dues. “I am unable to put on any boxing in Bermuda this year as the boxers, coaches, gyms and officials have not yet renewed their memberships,” she said.