Iwant to get medals for this country, that’s my reason for being here.” Words from a very determined boxer, who is none other than Jacob Gabriel.
With the Caribbean Boxing Championships set to take place here in December, Gabriel who lives in the UK is excited about the prospect of representing St Lucia. He was recently here acquiring the various documents to make it a reality. He was born in the UK but his father is St Lucian having been raised in Vieux Fort.
Gabriel was here three years ago visiting his grandmother. During his stay he checked out the boxing scene and sparred with a few boxers. President of the St Lucia Amateur Boxing Association, David “Shakes” Christopher and Coach Conrad Fredericks were impressed with his boxing skills and were eager to get him on board.
Gabriel pointed out that he defeated boxers on the English team, but told me, “I have a relaxed style and England never like it. I’ve had 86 amateur bouts and won over sixty of them.”
He considers himself a late bloomer, having donned the gloves when he was 17 years of age. He started out winning bouts against opponents his age, but when fighting more experienced boxers found the going tough.
Gabriel who is 24 normally competes in the light welterweight class, but when representing St Lucia hopes to compete in the lightweight division.
When asked about his interest in being on the St Lucia boxing team he shook his head and said: “I never felt comfortable there [UK] and St Lucia feels more like home.”
St Lucians got their first look at this boxer during the recent Health Fair on the William Peter Boulevard. He went against Marvin “The Painter” Anthony and gave a good account of himself during the three rounds.
Coach Fredericks had nothing but praise for the man who has medals on his mind and said, “Jacob looks like a shining light for St Lucia.”
Let’s hope so!