Ikenna Johnson running for BBF presidency
With the Bahamas Boxing Federation (BBF) set to host its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and election of officers on Saturday, the mother of one of the country’s top professional boxers, Tureano Johnson, and certified Level I coach Ikenna Johnson has thrown her hat in the ring for the presidency. Along with the top spot in the federation, several other positions will be contested, including two vice president spots, and the secretary general, treasure and assistant treasurer spots.
Johnson, a former boxing administrator and long-time enthusiast, said she wants to offer her services and expertise for the president’s spot because she feels she can make a meaningful contribution to the sport of boxing, which she feels is in need of a revamp.
“The state of boxing right now has to change,” she said. “There is a lot of work to be done, but I am confident that I have a large enough voice locally to make a difference. As of right now, the sport is not being marketed. In order for athletes to travel, and to host events locally, the sport needs funding, and in order to receive that funding, you have to be able to market the sport and build excitement around it.
“Our senior amateur boxers will soon be on their way out, and right now, there’s not a lot of amateurs competing locally. I served as a volunteer scorekeeper at the Commonwealth Youth Games last year and was very disappointed to see we had just one boxer competing. We were supposed to have entire clubs represented at home, so it’s obvious we need a change of direction.”
Johnson said if elected, she plans to restore the structure of boxing and work to unite athletes and clubs from all over The Bahamas.
“We realize that this Nassau-centric style will no longer work,” she said. “We have talent in all of our islands, and we need to push to get everyone involved. We understand that boxing is on the decline and it has a lot to do with our structure. We need a full team to be able to handle boxing, but the youth of the country need people who are passionate about what they do. We feel that the discipline that comes with the sport of boxing makes all the difference. It’s the discipline involved with amateur boxing. I’ve seen what the sport has done for myself and for those who grew up in my house. A lot of the kids who start boxing come from very little or tough situations, so if we can begin to reach these kind of kids in our country, we can help ease some of the things that come along with growing up and peer pressure.”
Johnson added that she’s also interested in helping local clubs amp up their public relations efforts to ensure that the public is aware of what they are doing.
Johnson’s slate includes Dr. Kent Bazard (vice president), Prince Ferguson (second vice president), Carla Hield (secretary general), Wellington Smith (treasurer), Drexel McIntosh (assistant treasurer) and Lavar Stuart (assistant secretary general).