Boxing bout knocked out

| 22/02/2009

(CNS): Charles ‘Killa’ Whittaker’s team and boxing promoter Gary Shaw are all outraged at the decision by the Minister of Tourism to cancel the planned boxing extravaganza featuring Cayman’s own local boxing hero. The World Championship fight was due to take place on 25 April and would have seen Whittaker take on the junior middleweight champion Vernon Forrest here in the Cayman Islands. Charles Clifford, however, said that the expected cost of $1.85 million was too much given the current economic climate.

Both Raul Alvarez, Whittaker’s Manager, and Gary Shaw Promotions, one of the leading promoters in the business, told CNS that they cannot understand how the event has been cancelled when only last Wednesday, 18 February, the minister sent an email stating that everything was on track to make the fight happen.

The email from Clifford stated: “It would appear that the Department of Tourism is now satisfied that we can proceed in principle with planning for this event at the agreed sum of US$1.35M (plus the US$500K in on island costs which will be our responsibility) while the formal written agreement is being finalised. I expect to be in a position to formally confirm this by noon tomorrow.”

Then, on Friday 20 February, merely 48 hours later, Clifford sent a second email stating that following a cabinet meeting the event was unfortunately cancelled. Shaw, who said that although he had received a very cool welcome from the ministry when he came to Cayman under his own steam and funding to find a suitable venue for the fight a few weeks ago, he had been encouraged by what he thought was a commitment to the fight.

“This appears to have been a masquerade by the minister,” Shaw told CNS. “We are very disappointed that after we met with every request and reduced the cost of stagingthis world championship fight, the minister has said there is no money. What changed in two days? I believe he has been disingenuous about this and in the end it is Charles Whittaker who will suffer because of this decision.”

Shaw explained that, with a major network scheduled to show the fight, his promotion company behind it and Vernon’s camp in training for the bout, the Cayman Islands had lost a fantastic opportunity to show a world championship event with their own fighter.

The country has also lost the chance to see Whittaker with a real shot at an important world title, taking it on home soil.  “The minister really has done his countryman Charles Whittaker a serious disservice,” Shaw added, saying that his company and Whittaker’s people had worked hard to make this fight happen, changing and rearranging things at the request of the minister. “We even brought the date forward on this fight so it would happened before your country’s elections in May, because the Minister asked us to do that,” he said.

The minister issued a statement to the press on Sunday 22 February confirming that he was cancelling the fight because of the current economic situation. “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 also stated 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 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. Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush and other critics accused Clifford of vanity over the costly exercise, which was not considered an appropriate promotional event for Cayman’s tourism market.

The minister defended his decision 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.

Whittaker, Alvarez and Shaw all said that this fight would have been a far bigger deal than the previous ‘Cayman Knockout’ event as this was an opportunity to not just showcase Cayman, but to provide Whittaker with an unprecedented opportunity to take a major title. “Imagine the kind of coverage that Cayman would have got from this if Charles had taken a world championship title in his own country,” Shaw added.

Alvarez, who has worked with Whittaker for more than fifteen years, said this was a terrible blow to Whittaker. “This has done serious damage to Charles’ career, the minister has really let him down and he has also damaged Cayman’s credibility as a place to stage major events,” he added.

Alvarez explained that this was always a serious fight and rumours that the World Boxing Council had not sanctioned it (which were posted on several boxing internet sites) were utterly false. “Why would a promoter of Shaw’s calibre be involved, as well as the major network Showtime, if there was any chance that the fight would not be sanctioned by the WBC?” he asked. He stated that they had the written confirmation from the WBC that the fight was sanctioned.

Whittaker said he could not believe what had happened and accused Clifford of lying to him as well as others involved. “He constantly changed the goal posts and we constantly met the demands. I missed other chances to fight because of this. He said only a few days ago the fight was going to happen. He lied to us,” Whittaker said.

For more on this, go to Killa’s fight not sanctioned

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  1. Anonymous says:

    the Prime time air time it would have been on HBO boxing would promote Cayman to the millions all around the World watching it.  Boxing is a very popular sport worldwide so much so that millionares and billionares gamble on Boxing!  No, plane loads of tourists would not come in one day because people plan their vacations even a year in advance.  It would have been another portion of money spent on promoting the Cayman Islands just like all the millions and millions Tourism Dept spends promoting Cayman to attract the Tourists to come.  By it being on Prime air time on HBO boxing worldwide like that would have made alot of people learn that the Cayman Islands exists and it would make some curious to learn more of it and to plan vacations to come.  Just another drop in the bucket of Tourism Promotions for the Cayman Islands.  Maybe even to add a commercial promoting a vacation to the Cayman Islands during the match would be excellent also even if it cost $200,000.00.  

    I’m still waiting to see the accounting report of the Department of Tourism’s spending?  Wouldn’t you be curious to see that?  I know alot about promoting Tourism for the Cayman Islands, but i won’t tell you how i know, you’ll have to trust me that i do know.  I’m anonymous in my post, so i can’t tell you how i know or else i would have to reveal my identity.

    Again, it is grossly unfair to ask for any apologies as i explained already in my last post.  Go back and re-read my post titled: "There is no problem".

    • Anonymous says:

      "the Prime time air time it would have been on HBO boxing would promote Cayman to the millions all around the World watching it"

      If that is so, why did they need so much government sponsorship? This just does not add up.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is no problem apologizing for any errors or mistakes we make in life.  The problem here is that you are asking for an apology that is not warranted.

    If the Government were not so incredibly lapse in investigating the legitimacy of someone approaching them for 1.85 million dollars to sponser a Wolrd Title Boxing Match, then an apology would most certainly be due by all of us who opposed the Government’s decision to withdraw from sponsering the boxing match.  Rember the Government agreed and then later withdrew, but it wasn’t for the reasons that it was not a legitimate World Title fight, they didn’t bother to investigate and they didn’t know!  They withdrew because they decided they didn’t want to spend the money on what they knew at the time was a World Title Major Boxing Fight. 

    Anyone who conducts a business orderly and wisely, and was about to spend 1.85 million on a sponsership that would then promote their own business (in the Government’s position that would have been Tourism), the business management would most certainly contact the top management (in this case the World Boxing organization) to authenticate the accuracy and legitimacy of the sponser request?  Duh!  I bet Dart investigates anything someone would ask him for 1.85 million to sponser them for something!  But no, not our Government, they don’t bother to investigate or research!

    So no, sorry, not getting no apology from me.  I stick to defending sponsering Charles Whittaker as a way to promote Tourism had it been legitimate as we were told it was.  Not our faults at all.  That is the fault of the Government not investigating the request from the start!  We based our response on what we were informed of, so it is grossly unfair to expect us to apologize.  What would be apologizing for?  Gosh, i wonder what else they just whip money out for without researching the matter?

    • Anonymous says:

      "I stick to defending sponsering Charles Whittaker as a way to promote Tourism had it been legitimate as we were told it was".

      The point is that it was not legitimate. Have the good graces to admit when you are wrong. The fact is that, while professional boxing may promote tourism, a Charles Whittaker fight may be a good draw for Caymanians (including me) but it was never in itself going to be a way to promote tourism. Do you seriously believe plane loads of people were about to descend on Grand Cayman to watch Charles fight? Get real.  

      The truth is that you simply wanted to use this a cudgel against the Minister and even when your whole basis is found invalid you try to find another basis.  

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh, please! This is absolutely ridiculous. To all those people saying it’s "unfair" – open your eyes! Our Government (and not many other governments, for that matter) does not have an over-abundance of funds at the current moment – especially to dish out on petty (yes, I said it, PETTY) matters such as a boxing match. $1.85 million is too much! With all due respect, Charles Whittaker can find these massive sum of money elsewhere. If he is good enough to go for a "world title", he should be good enough to get his own sponsors. Government has helped him enough. It’s time they focus their attention (and their money!) on more than 0.00002% of the population. Our children need scholarships. It’s hard enough to send them to college (especially abroad) when the economy is good, might-as-well when it’s in its gloomy current state. As someone else said before, that $1.85 million can go towards that. And I assure you, the glory from that – from educating our young Caymanians – will last longer than a single, solitary night and do more than boost one man’s ego or resume. Good call, Charles Clifford! You made the right decision – for all of us. Today, I’m proud to call you one of my Ministers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks to CNS for the link to the news story that the WBC President says that Cayman bout was never sanctioned by the WBC and therefore it could never have been a title fight.  Perhaps one could be forgiven for thinking that someone was about to pull a fast one on Charles and the Cayman Islands Govt. since they were claiming that it was a title bout. Those posting on here about what a golden opportunity this was, how the Minister is bringing us all down, what the people are saying on boxing websites and how we have deprived Charles of this opportunity to be a world champion, should now feel really stupid, give an apology to the Minister and thank him for not having wasted taxpayers money to the tune of $1.85 million for a non-title fight.  

      Thank you for some good reporting, CNS!  

  4. Anonymous says:

    I agree with this: 

    We can’t afford the fight, but we now are bring down "world class" skateboarders?! to boost our "upscale" market? How much HAS been spent on tourism lately? Are there now figures available?


    The last time we heard on the news they had not turned in any financial statements to show what they have and are spending???  I wonder too, are these figures now available???

    And to all of you on here who have opposed Charles Whittaker being supported by Tourism, you all need to go to school and learn again.

    It’s all about relevance!  If Tourism spends many millions on promoting Cayman, this would only be a small part of that.  You can’t look at it no other way, than what is the percentage ratio of 1.85 million compared to what the Tourism Department has and is spending.

    Don’t mix up Tourism’s spending with any other sector in the island.  We would have to move and go live somewhere else if the Tourists don’t come here.  Duh!  How do you think Cayman can afford all of us to live here???  By Tourism mainly!!!  Banking too, but Tourism is the main income to this Island!  Duh again!

    So when you stop spending on Tourism to promote Cayman to attract Tourists to come here, then most of us will have to leave and go live and work elsewhere or depend on ourselves living off the sea and backyard farming as in the old days, which probably can’t afford us to have cars and insurances and mortgages or pay rent, and nice clothes etc.  I don’t mind the old time living, it’s fine with me, mosquitos and all, but many don’t want to live the old time way.

    So for those of you who don’t want to have to pack up and leave and go look work in another Country, and who don’t want to go back to living the old time way – mosquitos and all, then please consider your comments carefully as to this whole situation with Tourism not keeping their word to sponser this Major Boxing Worldwide Event in the Cayman Islands.

    It is a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY for the Cayman Islands to host this event, recession or no recession!!!  We still need Tourists here to be able to survive here!!!  The Tourism Department has to spend alot of money to promote this Island to the World to try to attract Tourists to come here, to bring the major part of income into this Island that we depend on!!!

    Now, i hope from reading this you have learned something new today and open your mind, don’t be so small minded and tunnel visioned!  Like the old saying goes, "cow don’t know the use of it tail til it get chop off!"

    No Toursim Promotions, No Tourists!!!  That would be the most major loss of income to the Island!!  Duh!!

    I think you all owe Charles Whittaker an apology!! 

    Now, as far as the Cayman Olympians, i agree with the point on that, they are just as valuable.  And i agree also that we the Private Sector could chip in to help pay the costs for Charles, but i’m really not sure how much we would all put in together, because boxing is still so new here, so i say, YES, LET TOURISM SPONSER THIS!!  WE NEED THE PROMOTION TO BRING TOURISTS INTO THE ISLAND AS ALWAYS!!

    And Charles has disciplined himself like an Olympian athlete and puts all of his effort and energy and discipline into training to be a Professional Boxer.  He has done very well and continues to do very well!!





  5. Anonymous says:

    Where in the world does an individual professional athletes get an event put on and paid for by their respective government?

    This is what the private sector is for. I’m sure the government would offer support (non-financial) to any promotor or company willing to finance Mr. Whittacker if they feel he is capable. Why blame a government?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well I have one question. Why didn’t the Minister also cancel the building of the boxing facility? Apparently that is going to continue but how many Caymanians are going to benefit from that?


  7. Anonymous says:

    Kiss my neck back!!!

    I’ve heard it all. We cant afford fight, but we are going build a NEW DOCK, for ships that come here a few days a week, then when there’s bad weather they still cant come in. Charles is now where we CAYMANIANS wanted to see him (a chance at a WORLD TITLE). Why go so far then stop at the GRAND PRIZE? I am ashame to call myself Caymanian! This country is no longer mine. We are a Bunch of Crabs in a Bucket! I suggest that Charles seek citizenship elsewhere and represent them. I’m sure they would be happy to pay for his shot at the WORLD!!



    • Anonymous says:

      For those proposing to vote against Chuckie because they are disappointed about a boxing match, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bush, was quoted as saying that the government shouldn’t be spending its time and money promoting boxing matches.

      The boxing facility, if it is indeed still being built, would benefit not only Charles but every other Caymanian with potential to be a world class boxer for generations.  

      As to the comment about the dock, like it or not, cruise tourism is vital to our economy (unlike Charles having a fight in Cayman this year).  Whether plans for the redevelopment of the port proceed is subject to a satisfactory Environmental Impact Assessment. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I too agree that the Ministers, ALL the Ministers should lead by example.  Start saving the Government money by reducing some of the absurd spending habits that has become a "lifestyle" for most. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    By defenition, as taken from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary  a lie is: "to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive." Was this Minister’s intention? I highly doubt it. I know first hand just how much time and effort it takes to put together events such as these. Numerous teams are assembled and assigned to work on different segments of projects like this. It costs money and time. Why would anyone in their right mind purposely lie about something like this?

    I’m sure it was the intention of the Ministry to go ahead with this event, but sadly it just so happened that they felt it would not be in the country’s best interest, and so they had to change from the initial decision. When dabbling in the world of politics, it seems as if it is always easier to point the finger at an individual and blame them for any hardships you encounter.

    Personally, I feel that the decision to cancel was the right one. The economic climate is far from sound at this stage. Millions of dollars are best spent else-where, where residents will be able to more immediately benefit from it’s spending. This event would have highlighted Cayman in a positive light and quite likley asssit with alerting the potential tourists, but this is a long term goal. That money can be used for more beneficial short term projects.

    Charles and party must recognize that most professional fighters seek funding not only from their governments, but also private entities. It would be far wiser to seek these entities out and attempt to secure sponsorship from them, than to rely on Government, who at this stage, has far more pressing issues. Is your fight worth that money when it could be spent to beneft the people of the entire Cayman Islands? Sadly, I think not. It might soon be time for you to put your gloves on the shelf anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the minister was truly trying to save money, he would have had his  tourism staff marketing meeting in Cayman instead of holding the week long event in Miami. We need these meetings, yes, but wouldn’t it have been more effective to patronize the local hotels and restaurants rather than boost Miami’s tourism? I would think that this would be something that could have been done to show TRUE support for CITA.  It’s always being pounded in to us to support the local economy.  That could have set a good example.

    • Anonymous says:

      We can’t afford the fight, but we now are bring down "world class" skateboarders?! to boost our "upscale" market? How much HAS been spent on tourism lately? Are there now figures available?

  10. Ken says:

    Well here I go again hooked by poloticians… I have had my fill of 3rd world country polotics.. Now we all accept that US polotics are not perfect by far… But I think that the current Tourism Minister in the Caymans should take some political lessons from what US Senators and others have already learned…. DONT LIE TO YOUr CONSTITUENTS OR WE WILL TELL ON YOU!!!! Now why did this Polotician team up with Whittaker to begin with?… {I have seen them both in Vegas together, and read several stories and reports of their activities together promoting both the Caymans and Whittakers boxing career}..I will tell you why. The minister has always seen Whittaker as the best Athlete representative of the country.. Charles Whittakers place among the worlds top ranked fighters is the Caymans only claim to a world classInternational athlete..The fact that Whittaker, a world rated fighter lives in the Cayman Islands is as rare as a white heavyweight… The Cayman people all support Whittaker as their only current hope at International boxing success, and clearly the minister recognized Whittakers value to Cayman tourism as a world contender, enough to follow him around the USA. It had been rumored that big time boxing was headed to the Cayman Islands, starting with Charles Whittakers challenge for the world championship.. I wouldnt expect that the minister could get a boys or girls club boxing team to do business with him now

    • Anonymous says:

      "Charles Whittakers place among the worlds top ranked fighters is the Caymans only claim to a world class International athlete".

      This is an insult to to our Olympians who did us proud at last year’s Olympic Games. At the end of the day is it fair for the Govt. to spend millions of dollars on just one athlete, let alone when we are in an economic recession? If he is such a world class fighter we can’t he get businesses to sponsor him? 

      Everything that you say about the Minister’s faith in Charles runs counter to your claim that for no reason at all he just decided intentionally to deceive him, but obviously there is no reasoning with you. Tunnel vision is a dangerous thing.   

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh boo hoo hoo, I think I’m gonna cry. Poor little Charles. Could we have the 1.85 mil to start paying some of the 10+ years of salary increments that are owed to the Civil Service instead? Or maybe give our teachers a pack of paper each for their classroom and some snacks to feed the kids who come to school hungry every day to save them having to use their own little salaries for these things?

    Oh, and when I leave school and decide to become a Real Estate Agent but don’t turn out to be a very good one, could the Government of the day please supplement my income 40k+ every year too?

    Get a job!

  12. Anonymous says:

    When a promoter in the USA  wants to do a major title fight like this would have been they will sometimes get a site fee from a casino,. The reason the casino will do it is to get high rollers to come to their casino and also TV will showcase their casino , Do you have any idea how much a TV ad can cost ? They can cost from hundreds of thousands to millions and that’s just for a few seconds of TV time so imagine 2 hours of TV time . This event was a bargin when you consider that .  I am not a huge boxing fan but I do support and respect  Whittaker for being proud . Just about anything can be fixed and clifford should try to fix this because it’s the right thing to do!

    God Bless Everybody


  13. Maxim says:

    My opinion:

    Instead of spending 1.8M$ for ONE guy only on a match that will get little attention for Cayman, the govt could use that cash to give a study loan of 25 000$ to 72 of our teenagers who are finishing high school. That would be money well spent.

    By the way, usually sport events are self sufficient and get sponsored through adverstisements etc. If the govt has to pay for it, it gives you a hint at how many people will watch it. Sorry to the boxing community, but it ain’t worth it.

  14. NHB says:

    If it can be done in Cayman why can’t they do it anywhere else in the world or is this just another get rich quick boxing match milking the tourism departments of the world, one has to wonder why if Showtime is paying the promoters to show this match, or are they really, why as a country we have to take almost 2 million out of our pocket when we just paid for a real fight in the courts office at the tune of 1.3 million, I’m sorry for Charles but it is time for you to find another sponsor in these hard times.

    We as a country has bank rolled you for a very, very long time, please consider or kids education there is a lot of them that need to be sent to college and the many essential government services we need to cater to us all to live a comfortable life on this island.

    After the dust is settled and some come by night boxing promoter has had his fun in the sun and walked away with over 2 million of our hard earned dollars what do we do then to get back from that 2 million dollars invested in this deal let me guess tourism revenue, maybe if we hadn’t ran away the cruise ships we wouldn’t have to cancel Charles fight.

    I hear nothing of shared revenue from the fight, and be damn if any of my fees paid to the government for things like my passport, my airport exit fees, my custom fees, my stamp duties, my garbage fees post office box and you name the many fees we have paid to the government, I don’t want one red cent of it spent to fatten some boxing promoter wallet.

    And for all you jokers going on about chucky this and that I have no intentions of voting for his PPM party but for once I hope they stand up and not let us down as a country like they did with the many other things they have, I will never forget they promise to do something concerning the many citizen grants to get themselves into power, and less than 10 days after they were elected come to the people and scratch there chin and say old boy there isn’t nothing much we can do bout this but you all all better learn to play nice and get along with each other, and lump it like a man, we still lumping that PPM kick to the head from the previous elections.

    So Charles sorry this is just business I’m sure you will understand and I feel real sorry about the hand you have been dealt but seriously if these guys really really wanted to help your career you wouldn’t need to be getting any funding from your government they would have had you in Vegas or Madison garden not sweating in the heat of Cayman, think Charles, think.

    Guess who’s vote will be counted this year.


  15. Common Sense - not all that common anymore! says:

    OK – if Minister Clifford approved and went ahead with the money – people would complain.  If he didn’t, please would complain, and people have.  Either way, there will always be someone sitting on their butt complaining.

    This country needs the outlaw of 1million plus dollars for more important things.  It’s all in the timing, and right now our country cannot afford the expense of this.  It’s a shame that Charles the Killa Whittaker and the promoters were only depending on the money from the Cayman government to do this event.  How do the events get sponsored in the USA and in other places – I don’t think it’s all by the US Government.

    Caymanians, and others, let’s consider this honestly and realistically.  How could the Gov’t spend almost 2 million dollars on one fight, one night.  I think the 2 million dollars would be better spent elsewhere.   Maybe a few years down the road when the economic situation as improved this fight or another similar one could be revisited.  Maybe we’ll have another Caymanian boxer up to that level by then too, but unfortunately, now is not the time and there’s no way to justify spending all that money in today’s economic/budgetary environment.

    Sorry Killa, but good decision FOR THE COUNTRY Chuckie.

    And to those saying vote UDP…. remember back when the last boxing match was sponsored, Mac and the UDP were complaining about it so don’t think that they’d have jumped up to do this one either.  Again, people will complain if you do, complain if you don’t, and the UDP is NOT the answer my friends.  It’s not a popularity contest we’re looking at here, but who will run our country the best.  The PPM has been dealing with the poor decisions from the prior UDP Gov’t decisions the last few years.  Don’t think they’d do it any better the next four years if they’re voted back in. 

    Think a bit more about your vote my fellow Caymanians!!!

  16. MRS says:

    Dear Mr. Clifford, you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t. So, please by all means take the best road for the country. Personally, I for one would have been terribly vexed that my government would spend that amount of money on a fight when there are so much better uses for it. Like jobs for some of the unfortunate Caymanians who recently found themselves unemployed due to the same economic crisis we all need to recognize.

    Mr. Charles Whittaker, Sir I so sympathize for you, however are you looking out for numero uno? for your lovely Isles Cayman? What makes a fighter great is not just how he wins but how gracefully he concedes when defeated. You will fight another day, take all this and spin it into passion to show you are worthy. Sir, don’t make people spit venom on your country because things did not go the way you hoped. Stand proud, right and strong.

    Rise above all the negativism Cayman, we are a much greater people than this.


  17. Anonymous says:

    Oh My God!  I cannot cannot cannot believe they have done this to Charles Whittaker?  Broken his spirit which may cause him to now lose the fight and the title!  This is absolutely brutal by Charles Clifford and the Government to do this!!!  Tourism spends millions and millions of dollars promoting Cayman.  There is no excuse under the sun that this was unneccessary spending!  Not to the Tourism Sector, it was not unneccessary spending!  It was just a drop in the bucket of what they spend!

    How dare they do this to Charles Whittaker!!!  I am so furious and outraged at this horrible Government whether backbenchers, all of them!!  They are all in this decision!!!!

    Charles Whittaker, i don’t know what i could say to you to unbreak your heart of your own Country’s Government letting you down so bad like this, i can only send my thoughts, love and prayers to you to let you know that many of us in this Country are on your side, and you fight that fight and give your best and snatch that title my brother!!!  Don’t let a few jerks here in this Government get you down!!  They seem to be getting many of us down these days!!  You are not alone!! 

    You Go Charles Whittaker!!  Go and win your fight, wherever it may be taking place, YOU GO BROTHER!!!


  18. Anonymous says:

    Three letters…………..UDP !!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Just another example of what this minister is all about. People of Bodden Town – please please wake up and VOTE the PPM out of this country. None of them deserve a seat in our district or all of Cayman. VOTE SMART!

  20. Anonymous says:

    We can agree or disagree on whether the govt support of the fight was a good idea. But this is ultimately about the way that the government handled the idea in the first place. The government has very disengeniiously claimed that they foresaw that the country was going to be hit hard more than 18 months ago due to the global crisis. If that is the case why did they not cancel this idea many many months ago?

    Thetruth is that they toyed with this idea at a time when they should probably not have done so. The results is their poor management wil now impact a Caymanian who has nothing but good in his sport. If Charle Whittaker knew this was not going to happen many months ago, he would not be in this current position. How can you saythat it is ok for a minister to send an email like that one on one day and just 2 days later say the event is cancelled. There are promoters. organisers, television networks involved and this was just plain poor planning by the government for leading on the boxer and stakeholders because he did not properly think through the implications of financial supporting the event. The truth is that the Minister only decided to cancel after a bit of public questioning by other politicna regarding the costs. in effect he has turned an important career event for a caymanian into a political football. What kind of leadership is that?


  21. Anonymous says:

    To the person who said:

    It is pretty silly and mean-spirited to call the Minister a liar and a dictator because he made what is in his view (and the opinion of many) a prudent financial decision. Charles’s career cannot be the determining factor in this.  

    Prudence dicates that decisions are reviewed in light of changing circumstances. There are only two people that cannot change their minds: (1) a dead person; and (2) a fool.   

    1. Chuckie did lie by telling everyone yes on one day and then no the next.  He lied and Chuckie just led these people on a wild chase for what? 

    2. Charles career will never be the same after the government put the islands (and boxing’s) name out to dry.

    3. Prudence was not a month of stringing along….

    4. When it walks like a duck it must be a duck.  A fool is a fool and those who follow are the fools men..


    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 02/23/2009 – 09:37

      You seem to have some difficulty understanding the concept of a "lie". It is not saying yes today and no tomorrow. A lie is an intentionally false statement. What would the Minister possibly have to gain by intentionally deceiving the boxing promoters and Charles? Absolutely nothing, but he had a whole lot to lose. You are not making any sense. I guess this is what Obama called "silly season". Why do people feel they need to demonise those they disagree with?  We are all people with different opinions and perspectives. Live and let live.    

  22. Anonymous says:

    For anyone to question the need for government to tighten their belts totally escapes me. Times are getting tough and will likely get worse and I support government reexamining their expenditures in light of the economic downturn.

    Of course this will not be without pain and loss but the country needs to behave responsibly and serve as a role model to the people.

  23. Ken says:

    The Cayman people have lost a good opportunity for one of their own to become a world champion and also get good press coverage for their country and its goverment..The kind of double crossing or reneging on a deal, that appears to have been perpetrated by the tourism minister does not do well for tourism in the Caymans.  It is a shame that a man is being allowed to act as dictator in a place as wonderful as the Caymans..The tourism minister agreed to host this event and then backed out, there is no way to do that without being a liar. Are all poloticians in the Caymans liars? I would certainly like to hear their opinions on their Tourism ministers behavior.Regarding Charles Whittaker, it is a shame that a Cayman politicion would do this kind of damage to this mans career, after all he has represented the Cayman people very well. If I were Whittaker and Gary Shaw I would have my lawyers talk to the Cayman Justice Minister about this Tourism Ministers actions..Ken Smith USA … PS…I noticed that the minister mentioned the cost at 1.85million,,, was that the truth??  what about revenues brought in by the event ? wouldnt there be revenue to offset these expenses?… What is the bottom line ?

    • Anonymous says:


      It is pretty silly and mean-spirited to call the Minister a liar and a dictator because he made what is in his view (and the opinion of many) a prudent financial decision. Charles’s career cannot be the determining factor in this.  

      Prudence dicates that decisions are reviewed in light of changing circumstances. There are only two people that cannot change their minds: (1) a dead person; and (2) a fool.    

      • Anonymous says:

        Imagine what a world champion could do for Cayman.

        This was Cayman’s sole chance.

        Way to waste it.

  24. CCC says:

    PPM has finally made a GOOD decision!

    With all that is happening in the world and indeed our country, to even have considered spending this money on such an event is CRAZY at best, especially when we are having trouble feeding and taking care of our people who are in need. With the trimming of budgets throughout government, this expenditure would not have passed the litmus test.

    I know Charles must be disappointed, however I’m sure in time he too will see that this is the right decision for something larger than himself, that being our Country.


  25. Anonymous says:

    We should have Chuckie’s books audited.  I bet you that last show didn’t cost the $1.1 Million and all of us who attended that show saw Chuckie being treated like he was King.  Chuckie is against Charles we have all seen it. this is just another reminder….  Another vote lost!

  26. Anonymous says:

    There is no need to be outraged. This is obviously not a personal slight to Charles. You people are difficult to figure out: one minute you want the govt. to spend less or you will vote them out, the next minute when they are exercising restraint you want to spend more or you will vote them out.    

  27. Anonymous says:

    I have never ever heard of the United States Government paying for a boxing match. Why did the promoters not get sponsors instead of targeting the  C.I.Government each time  Sorry I cannot support the government in paying out all this money in this economic time. How unrealistic to think the government must support this venture.

  28. Anonymous says:

    This is a total outrage.

    Minister Clifford should be ashamed of himself.  Here you have a young Caymanian who has always wanted a chance of making a positive impact for his life and his fellow young Caymanians and you let him and US CAYMANIANS down. 

    This would had been an investment in our island’s youth to show that they can achieve greatness.

    Dalmain Ebanks would roll in his grave if he knew of this. 

    Charles Whittaker just lost his father and this would have been a beautifukl tribute to him.


    SHAME ON YOUR CHUCKIE.  I just made up my mind how I will vote this election and sad to say YOU WILL NOT BE THE ONE I VOTE FOR NOW!!

    • Anonymous says:

      who gives a sh!t about the fighter… it’s not worth $1.8m to help make this guy’s dream come true

      • Anonymous says:


        Hey mon people care more about this fighter and you are a sad excuse for a human being. What have you done with your life lately ? I bet you just complain about everything and do nothing for yourself and your country

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t think it’s all about Mr. Whittaker’s dream for that big  event but also for our Country’s benefit. Can you imagine Cayman Island will be televised in Showtime? To my fellow Caymanian…. let’s wake up!