By Lance Corporal Juliet Clarke
Headquarters Jamaica Defence Force (Civil Military Co-operation)

In the open air, boxers from across the Force vied for top honours.  The boxing tournament saw the First Battalion The Jamaica Regiment (1 JR) dominating the competition with 35 points.

Members of the 1JR boxing team poses with the winning trophy.

The Jamaica Defence Force 2008 Boxing Competition was held from
17-19 March 2008, at the Boxing Gym in Lathbury Barracks, Up Park Camp.

The heats and semi-finals were as hot as the names suggest as boxers stood their ground where only the strong survived and made it to the finals.

The 2008 championships was a vast improvement when compared to other competitions held.  The Force was afforded the luxury of electronic judging, utilizing the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) sanctioned electronic system.    This system enabled the judges to be more efficient and timely in keeping with the standards of international amateur competitions.  The electronic system was the kind deed of the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control (JBBC).

The Chief of Defence Staff poses with the coach
of 1 JR with the winning trophy.

Not only has the judging improved, but the quality and standard of the boxers have risen since the last competition in 2006.   In the feather weight category Private Damian Johnson of 1 JR gained victory over his rival Sapper Adrian Mendez. Whilst in the heavy weight and super heavy weight division Private Shedrach Fuller of 1 JR and Lance Corporal Curton Jennings of 1 Engineer Regiment (JDF) dominated their divisions by defeating their opponent and claming victory.

The most outstanding boxer for 2008 was Lance Corporal Shantez McInnis of the Support and Services Battalion.  Lance Corporal McInnis displayed strength and determination coupled with skill and agility to gain victory over his opponent and enabled him to win this award.

Chief of Defence Staff Major General Stewart Saunders
presenting the Most Outstanding Boxer Trophy to
Lance Corporal Shantez McInnis.

Private Gilbert Vaz of 1 JR was awarded the trophy Most Outstanding Unit Coach after taking his team of boxers and eventually his Unit to victory in the boxing championships.

A prize was also awarded to the most gallant looser.   The most gallant looser is the individual who stood his ground and showed resilience even though he is being defeated by his rival.  This was awarded to Sapper Adrian Mendez of 1 Engineer Regiment (JDF).

A member of the Third Battalion The Jamaica Regiment throws a punch at
his opponent from Second Battalion The Jamaica Regiment (JDF).

The Chief of Defence Staff in his message gave condolences to Private Kurt Simpson who passed away while preparing for the competition.  He also commented that the light and feather weight categories have seen vast improvements.  He said, “They were more advanced and elevated.”

However, the night was not all about boxing, but the spectators and competitors were also entertained by a team of martial arts students who gave various demonstrations, displaying their talent and tactics in defence and attacking modes. This team was led by
Captain Wie Xu Seng of the Chinese Army.