Olympic hopeful Jesse Bodden was disappointed in his bid for a place in Beijing when he boxed at the Olympic trials in Trinidad last week.
Bodden, 25, went to Port of Spain full of confidence but having to struggle to make the welterweight limit of 152lbs and boxing an exceptionally talented fighter thwarted his ambitions this time round. He will get a second and final chance in Guatemala City next month.
Bodden was outpointed by John Jackson from the United States Virgin Islands. Jackson, 19, is of the highest pedigree – his father is Julian ‘The Hawk’ Jackson, the former middleweight world champion in the Eighties and one of the hardest punchers of all time. John is the youngest of three boxing brothers.
Jackson Jr also had a lot more experience than Bodden who was only having his fourth amateur bout and the first one in two years. The fact that he had to lose 6lbs by sweating it off in a sauna the day before, did not help. Nevertheless, his coach Donie Anglin was encouraged by Bodden’s showing and believes he can still make it to the Olympics in August.
‘When I saw that Jesse had Jackson I told him to expect an elusive opponent because I’d seen Jackson box before,’ Anglin said. ‘It was a good experience for Jesse because he wasn’t outclassed. Having to go in a sauna and also skip before the fight didn’t help him.
‘Jesse tried to hit Jackson with body shots to slow him down but they don’t really score in the amateurs, only head shots. He lost 15-3 which was no disgrace. Jackson beat an Argentinean easily in the next round.’