Boxing bout knocked out

| 22/02/2009

(CNS): Update: The Minister of Tourism has announced that there will be no international televised boxing extravaganza featuring local boxing hero Charles Whittaker at the top of the bill in Cayman this year. Charles Clifford said that the expected cost of $1.85 million to stage the event was too much given the current economic climate and that the boxer had been informed of the decision. Reports that the World Boxing Council  had refused to sanction a fight in the Cayman Islands between Whittaker and junior middleweight champion Vernon Forrest are, apparently.

Forrest’s promoter Gary Shaw had made a request to get permission from the WBC to stage Forrest-Whittaker on April 25 in the Cayman Islands, televised by Showtime, as it was believed that residents would pay to see one of their own fighting for a major title. However, the WBC refused to sanction any fight for the title other than one between Forrest and Sergio Martinez, and Forrest risked being automatically stripped of the title if he went ahead with the bout with Whittaker.

“Over the past several weeks the Ministry of Tourism, along with the Ministry of Sports and some of our departments have been in serious negotiations with Gary Shaw Promotions in an effort to bring a world class, televised boxing event to the Cayman Islands that would feature our very own Charles Whittaker,” said Clifford.

“However, given the current global economic climate and its impact on available discretionary government funds; coupled with the fact that this Showtime bout was an unbudgeted item of very large magnitude which only presented itself this year, the government yesterday decided that it was just not possible to move forward with the event at this time.”

Clifford said the first Showtime boxing event, ‘Cayman Knockout’, held in 2008 at the Royal Watler Terminal, cost US $1.1 million but this next event with ‘Killa’ toping the bill would have cost US$1.85 million, or over 60% more. The minister stated that following the government’s decision on Friday, he advised Charles Whittaker and Gary Shaw Promotions of the decision.

 "We hope that similar opportunities to work together for the benefit of Charles Whittaker and the Cayman Islands tourism industry will be available in the future when circumstances allow us to pursue them," he added. "The Government is truly disappointed that we were not able to pursue this opportunity at this time. We hope to eventually work together to find an opportunity for our local champ but unfortunately we are not in a position to pursue this proposed unbudgeted event at this time."

The decision to stage ‘Cayman Knockout’ last year as a tourism event, which featured Whittaker on the bill but did not televise his bout live, raised considerable controversy. The Leader of the Opposition, McKeeva Bush  and other critics accused Clifford of vanity over the costly exercise which was not consider an appropriate promotional event for Cayman’s tourism market.

The Minister defended his decisions and the cost saying that the boxing match was beamed live into the homes of millions of people in the US and around the world promoting the Cayman Islands in a way that would be difficult to buy through the normal course of promotion and marketing.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Sports

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Twyla M Vargas says:

    SORRY CHARLES,  OOPS!!!!

    You are from the Cayman Islands dont be surprised!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If you were W—- and .F..,,,,,, you would have been given the chance.

    Keep training.  Be blessed