Video: Getting to know Rufus Vesprey, Boxer of the Year 2017

by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Rufus Vesprey is a national lightweight boxer for Grenada
  • From Petite Martinique, he is a former Bishops College student
  • Ranked 3 in the Commonwealth

With a number of gold medals under his belt, a national lightweight boxer for Grenada, Rufus Vesprey, has set his eyes towards 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

At only 19 years of age, Vesprey, nicknamed the “Ghost” is ranked 3 in the Commonwealth with 10 fights, 5 knockouts and 1 lost added to his résumé. He was awarded for his achievement in the sport of boxing after being named 2017 Male Boxer of the Year.

The former Bishops College student who hails from Petite Martinique trains more than 3 days a week, and as of 19 April, 2018 is no longer required to wear protective head guards, an elevation into the professional league the young boxer is ready to embrace.

“I want to represent Grenada in the next Olympics 2020 so that’s why I am training so hard; so I want to keep fit and I also have to maintain my winning streak to be able to qualify for the Olympics.”

While attending Bishops College, Vesprey endured taking regular boat trips to attend school on the sister isle of Carriacou. However, he said that is where he discovered that he had a passion for boxing. “My house where I use to stay in Carriacou was very close to the stadium where Sabastian Stiell my main coach taught me because he had a boxing class every week. He saw potential in me as a little boy, and from that point, I started taking an interest in boxing.”

The young champ says he is honoured to be recognised at last year’s sports awards and looks forward to advancing in his career.

Rufus Vesprey and Boxing Coach Shayne Joseph

Meanwhile, his present coach and manager of Body Image Health Club, Shayne Joseph says Vesprey has shown the tenacity to win in the sport of boxing, something very rare in teenagers his age. “He loves boxing, he truly loves the sport, and we had a good year last year after he won boxer of the year and getting junior boxer of the Caribbean and he is still young.”

Coach Joseph says efforts must be made to secure scholarship opportunities for athletes like Vesprey to be able to focus on their training. Unfortunately, he says this still poses a challenge for many athletes on the island.

“There is no scholarship programme for boxing, but there are programmes out there done in the past where government can step in and have athletes sponsored and let them continue their training because at the moment I have boxers who have full-time jobs and still have to come to train and they still perform well.”

Vesprey says he looks forward to 2020 Summer Olympics where he hopes to achieve his dream of earning a gold medal for Grenada.

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