Almanack: Punishment for corporal

Click to follow
The Independent Online
PECULIAR goings-on in Wales, where the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association has come under fire for its Commonwealth Games selection procedures. Lance-Corporal Vince Powell, the Welsh lightweight champion, seemed an obvious choice. Powell knocked out Cardiff's Gareth Lawrence in the Welsh ABA final, but the WABA demanded a box-off for a place at the Games.

Powell was unable to meet the date set for the box-off as he was on holiday, so Lawrence got the nod instead. His preparations will not have been helped by the 28-day suspension he was obliged to serve after the knock-out: he was also suspended from training.

Almanack called a source well versed in the mysterious world of amateur boxing. What on earth is going on? 'Politics,' he sighed. 'There are various clubs involved. Lawrence's club have people in high positions, Powell is in the army in England and has nobody to speak for him in Wales. On the other hand, he didn't show up for the box-off, so he didn't get selected.' There is no suggestion that the WABA acted improperly, but it may have been a little harsh on its own champion.

Powell's commanding officer, Major Dennis Sears, seems to think so. 'The box-off was an insult to Powell and the Army Boxing Association,' he said. The fighter himself is no happier. 'I've been so badly treated that I never want to box for Wales again,' Powell declared. It may be Wales's loss.