|Bubba Busceme keeps time as Omonyni Moses (left) and Jeb Eiley spar during boxing training. Busceme is volunteering to teach anyone in San Pedro to box. Busceme boxed in the 1972 Olympics.
|Omonyni Moses (left) and Aaron (Flaco) Cruz spar during boxing training on the dock at Casa Carib. Bubba Busceme has been training San Pedro youth who want to learn to box. Moses and Cruz are the featured boxers Sunday night when they face boxers from Caye Caulker.|
Boxing has always been a part of Bubba Busceme’s life. He even competed in the 1972 Olympics, but in the quarter finals, lost to the person who would ultimately take the gold. Bubba and his wife Kim moved to San Pedro a year ago to open the South Park School. Like many who move here, they wanted to contribute to their new community.
A few months ago, Bubba was enjoying the view in front of Caribe Island Resort when he noticed a group of young men “just hanging around.” “They were swinging on the hammocks and just goofing around, kind of looking for something to do,” recalls Bubba. So he approached them and asked if any were interested in learning how to box. They eagerly agreed and ever since Bubba has been training local youth the fine art of boxing.
With the beautiful Caribbean Sea as a back drop, Bubba coaches anyone who shows up on the dock at Caribe Island Resort. The large palapa that was once a restaurant serves as the gym and training ring. Almost every day around 3:30 or 4:00 p.m., he brings duffle bags of boxing and fitness equipment and begins coaching the kids. “We had 15 or 20 boys at one point,” said Buxceme. But as the novelty of wearing the gloves and taking punches wore off, many of the original kids no longer come to train, but do enjoy watching others who spar. Most recently Lara Goldman is also volunteering to teach boxing. She moved to San Pedro last week from Philadelphia where she owned a women’s boxing gym.
After months of training, some quality boxers have emerged from experience. This Sunday, San Pedro will host live amateur boxing when boxers from Caye Caulker come to San Pedro. The bouts will be held at the Five-A-Side court and will start promptly at 7:00 p.m. A regulation boxing ring will be brought in from Belize City, and the event is sanctioned by the Belize Boxing Commission. Official judges, referees and time keepers will also come from the Belize mainland to make sure the contest meets official boxing rules. The preliminary matches will be three rounds and the premium matches four rounds.
“We’re hoping for a good turnout,” says Bubba. “If this goes well, we may have an event every couple months.” Bubba said there are boxers all over Belize and that they may travel to Orange Walk for their next contest.
Nearly thirty businesses have agreed to sponsor the event Sunday night with the San Pedro Town Council as a main sponsor and coordinator. General admission tickets are $10, ringside is $20 and children under 12 are $5. So come out Sunday night and support your San Pedro boxers.