The World Boxing Association (WBA), one of the leading controlling bodies in professional boxing, has a new president. He is Gilberto Mendoza Jr, a former vice-president who succeeds his father, Gilberto Mendoza Sr. The latter resigned recently because of ill health.There was a similar father-son succession two years ago with the World Boxing Council (WBC) when Maurice Sulaiman succeeded his father, JosÈ Sulaiman, as the head of the World Boxing Council (WBC).On that occasion, the older Sulaiman had died. The WBA is the oldest of the top four organisations that control professional boxing worldwide. The others are the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Organisation.The elder Mendoza was in Jamaica with his son in 2012 for the world featherweight title fight between Nicholas ‘The Axeman’ Walters and Dualis Prescott, a fight that Walters won by a technical knockout in Round 7 to take the then vacant WBA featherweight title. He has been ailing for some time, and because of his poor health, he decided at age 72 to “hang up his gloves”.tribute to Mendoza SrNo doubt as a tribute to Mendoza Sr, and also as a reward to his son for the hard work he has put in as a vice-president for many years, Mendoza Jr was elected unanimously by the 40 delegates who were present at a meeting of directors in Panama when Mendoza Sr made his retirement announcement by video stream.It had been generally expected that whenever Mendoza Sr decided to retire, his son, who has been by his side many years as a confidante, would succeed him.The WBA, which had its base in Venezuela for many years, relocated to Panama in 2007, and Mendoza Jr had been acting as president during the recent illness of his father.Commenting on his election, he said that he was happy to take over the leadership, and the only regret he had was that his father was not present physically when the directors made the decision to elevate him to the top spot.In accepting the position, Mendoza Jr said that the passion that he puts into his job was inherited from his father and urged the worldwide boxing fraternity to ” let us all work together for the good of the sport”.
Tennis and soccer took centre stage last Friday and Saturday on the grounds of the American International School of Kingston (AISK).The schools’ Liguanea campus was host to the first weekend of the 2016 AISK SportsFeva tournament. The event is spread over two weekends and features more than 290 student athletes from Aruba, Cayman, CuraÁao and of course Jamaica.”SportsFeva 2016 has been going great so far. We had some hiccups with the rain on Saturday as it postponed the U12 TennisFeva finals, but that is to be expected as we deal with Mother Nature and a growing event. In the long run, however, the event continues to deliver for these young athletes and that’s what we are focused on,” said Shirley Davis, AISK’s Head of School.”We had TennisFeva and SoccerFeva last weekend and the turnout was great. Seeing our young athletes, and by ‘our’ I mean the region, compete and grow as athletes. Many of the competitors have been here more than once, and they have formed great bonds and friendships with each other,” added Bradley Ransom, who heads AISK’s athletics department.TennisFeva 2016 started with U-10s competing hard for bragging rights amongst their peers. A number of exciting moments kept on-lookers fully engaged in the rallies on court. In the end, Hillel Preparatory came out on top with the AISK “A” and AISK “B” teams taking second and third place respectively.The Immaculate Conception Preparatory School was recognised for being the most disciplined team and nine-year-old Tomas Bordeau from AISK was identified as the competition’s best sportsman.Hillel was not to be left out of the individual awards, as their nine-year-old Matthew James was named the most valuable player.On the U-12s side, St Peter and Paul Preparatory edged out Hopefield Preparatory for first place as Hillel “A” finished in third.Eleven-year-old Nathan Chin of St Peter and Paul was named the most valuable player, while Hillel Academy’s Xander Bicknell was named best sportsperson. Wolmer’s Preparatory was recognised as this year’s most disciplined team.The excitement of SoccerFeva could not be contained. The football tournament began on Friday with group rounds.Big winners in Friday’s group qualifiers were defending SoccerFeva Cup boys champions Jamaica College, who trumped AISK 5-0 and Campion College with their 4-2 win over Cayman Prep.In Saturday’s knock-out finals, Jamaica College defended their hold on the SoccerCup with a decisive 3-0 win over CuraÁao in the finals. JC earlier beat Hillel 1-0 to make it to the finals, while CuraÁao overcame Campion’s semi-final challenge with a 4-1 win.Competition was no less intense for the female footballers, as Cayman Prep overcoming AISK 1-0 to claim the girls title. Cayman Prep beat the American International School of Cayman 3-1 in penalties after a 3-3 draw in the semi-finals.AISK had turn back Campion College in the semis with a 3-1 win in penalties after a 1-1 draw.AISK SportsFeva 2016 ends tomorrow with ClayFeva, a clay-shooting competition, at the Skeet Shooting Club in Portmore. The excitement begins at 8 a.m.
Everybody was playing, young and old. They played in the backyard and in the front yard. They were seen on television enjoying the Test matches, and by playing everywhere and anywhere, and by playing every day and everywhere, the young players were in a position to replace the stars whenever their time came to step aside. They had the numbers. That was how it was in those days. While it is basically the same in the other countries, it is no longer so in the West Indies, and certainly not so in Jamaica where a cricket match, almost any cricket match, is like a ghost town. Today, the team, the West Indies team, still wins a few matches, but they are few and far between, and mostly against teams as low as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. And they are gradually catching up with the West Indies. Their performers are few and far between, and with one like Chris Gayle and probably another like Dwayne Bravo not involved, the relatively good performers are Darren Bravo, Kirk Brathwaite, and Marlon Samuels, and they are so only now and again. The reason is that those who are equipped to take the places of the stars are not around, or by playing only now and again, they take too long in getting there. It is difficult these days to spot, not only another Brian Lara or another Curtly Ambrose, another Shivnarine Chanderpaul or another Courtney Walsh, but also a player who really looks like for one for the future England, Australia, South Africa, and especially India turn these type of players out almost every season. They flow like off a production line, Alistair Cook, Ian Bell, Steve Hamison, Joe Root, Jos Butler, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Steven Finn, Michael Clarke, David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Finch, Michael Johnson, and Mitchell Starc, Jacques Kallis, Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, Quinton De Kock, Faf Duplessis, A.B. De Villiers, Makhaya Ntini, and Dale Steyn. And from India, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinka Rajane, Rohit Sharma, R. Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Suresh Raina, and many more. It is almost like you hear about them today and by tomorrow they are gone, and not because they are not that good enough, but because a better one appears on the scene. One of the reasons why England, Australia, South Africa, and India keep producing more and better players more often than the West Indies is because their cricket fraternity really loves cricket. Based on what I have seen they go to cricket from they are young until they are old, and during that time, they play cricket, in the backyard, in the front-yard, and even competitively until after their 75th birthday. The Australians, who were in Jamaica two weeks ago courtesy of Paul Campbell’s Sports Innovation Group, played four 20-over games against a Kingston CC Masters Invitational X1, a Melbourne CC Masters Invitational X1, and two games against a Paul Campbell Masters Invitational X1, were from Victoria. They came to Jamaica from Mexico and Cuba, and they were heading to Vancouver in Canada before going on to Philadelphia in the USA for a seven-match series in five days to end the tour. The Philadelphia series has been going on for the past 20 years. The reason for the headline is this: the tour was an eye-opener for the Jamaicans, certainly to regulars like former Jamaica nationals Delroy Morgan, John Gordon, Terrence Corke, and Odelmo Peters and to regular master league players like Mark English and Myron Chin. The local players were, however, nowhere near 60 or 75 years old, and while there were maybe a few of them, who may play five or six games a season, the Australians number thousands, who play a minimum of 15 competitive games a season. It is because of that why the Jamaicans were astonished by these older Australians, who, while were attired in the green and gold of Australia, ran sprightly and smartly between the wickets, something which is almost foreign to West Indies cricket these days. “Boy, these guys certainly taught us a lesson. Imagine, 70 and 75 yeas old and still playing, and playing two games a day on top of that,” said one of the Jamaicans who was just pushing his 50th birthday. That’s what made cricketers like Clarke and Smith, and also others like Johnson, Starc, and company. “These guys really love cricket, man. We really have to take a leaf out of their book if we are to match them,” said one of the Jamaicans who required a substitute fielder half way through the match at Melbourne Oval. If the West Indies played cricket like the Aussies, they probably would not have suffered so badly for so long: 1995 to 2016 at the bottom, or near to the bottom, of the Test and One-day rankings. Competitively Some people may now be questioning the reason for this headline, The Australian inspiration. After all, the West Indies did go from 1976 to 1995 losing only one Test series against all comers, they defeated Australia mercilessly in seven series from 1980 to 1993 and during all those years there skill was such that they were considered the greatest set of cricketers ever to play the game. Maybe the headline reflected the 4-1 defeat in 1951-52 when Australia first played the West Indies, or maybe it brought back memories of the 3-0 thrashing they dished out in 1955 when they first toured the West Indies. No, it could not have been. Those defeats, and others, were well and truly avenged during the 19 years of ascendancy and the many thumpings that Australia received from the West Indies during that time, even though those victories are nearly as far away and as long ago as the wonderful and historic 3-1 victory against England in 1950. The headline is for another reason. Back in those days, cricket was popular among the six or seven countries which really played the game, and Test cricket was what other cricket was judged by. Whenever stumps were driven into the ground and two men in white walked out of the pavilion, it was the signal for the people to turn out in their thousands, or for rain to come tumbling down. People loved the sport, and they used to revel in who wins and the successful performers were the toast of the day, as they are today. In that atmosphere, with everybody, toddlers to grandparents, probably even to great grandparents, involved in the game, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, the West Indies, India, and Pakistan were happy. They won series and they lost series. They produced good players. Young players