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Potts: Boxer Alexander needs foreign help

Thursday, August 7, 2014
Sport Minister Rupert Griffith, centre, chats with Commonwealth Javelin silver medalist Keshorn Walcott, left, and boxing bronze medalist Michael Alexander during a welcome reception for athletes and officials at the VIP Lounge, Piarco International Airport, yesterday. PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO

Special advisor to the T&T Boxing Board of Control Boxu Potts says Commonwealth bronze medallist Michael Alexander will need to attend foreign training camps if he is to win gold medals at international competitions. Speaking to the Guardian yesterday, the former promoter said that Alexander, 21, had to follow in the footsteps of track stars Hasely Crawford and Ato Boldon, both of whom benefitted from foreign training, in order to become a world class boxer.

“For a long time now boxers from T&T have been returning with silver and bronze medals from international events,” he said. “We need to get some gold medals and in order to get gold medals we must now develop a new cutting edge mentality. Athletes like Crawford and Boldon in the past have spent time training in foreign countries and I think Michael should be no different.”

He added that the country’s coaches could also develop their craft by spending time abroad.

“Some of our coaches can go and learn the science of boxing and then impart knowledge to our local athletes.” 

Potts said that such initiatives would be difficult as funding from the Ministry of Sports had dried up in recent times. However, he expressed optimism at the appointment of Dr. Rupert Griffith as the new Minister of Sport following the resignation of Anil Roberts.

“I trust that Dr. Griffith, who has come in without baggage, will be good for the Ministry and will deal with sports in a fair manner and get the personality out the way,” he said. “He is a former sportsman himself and a man of action. He hits the ground running and likes to make things happen. I think he will do an excellent job.”

Without funding from the Ministry, Alexander relied on contributions from local companies Capital City and Caribbean Facilities Corporation Limited (CFCL) Construction for his preparations for the Commonwealth Games. 

Potts believes that if the Ministry had provided adequate support for the sport, as many as seven fighters could have represented T&T at the Games.


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