Charles ‘The Killa’ Whittaker intends to go into politics when he hangs up his gloves and will focus on helping youngsters achieve their ambitions.
Whittaker is the WBO NABO junior-middleweight champion waiting for a world title shot later this year. When not in intense training he enjoys mentoring youngsters and trying to guide them down the right route.
‘I’m ranked No.6 now by the WBO and been told that once the champion gets his mandatory defence out of the way I’ll be in,’ he said. ‘I’m just going to bide my time and work towards my next fight on June 28 here in Grand Cayman just to stay active. I’ll probably be fighting the Canadian junior-middleweight champ.’
Whittaker, 34, is keen to give back to the community now he has achieved something in life after an uncertain start.
‘I want to work in the community with the kids. I’ve talked to a number of older heads in the community, people like myself who have been through things and know the problems we have. I want to start something like a Big Brother program.
‘My vision is putting things together and having a place where young people can go and spend their time productively, rather than hanging out on a street corner. A place where there’s adults around and good supervision.
‘That is what Mr Dalmain Ebanks was to me. The boxing was his Big Brother programme. That could be my way of carrying on the legacy of a great man.
‘In my younger years I’ve been through reform school and I know what the kids need, just a little guidance.
‘The violence we’ve been seeing in bars and nightclubs in Cayman has made me realise we talk about it and read about it but we all can play a part in making that difference.
‘I’m critical of politicians and say they talk about the problems but do not make themselves part of the solution. I have my aspirations of getting into politics in the future and want to prove that I’m about something.
‘In the next few months I want to start in the field I know. I’m waiting for the new boxing gym to open, a bigger facility and we can really start bringing these children in.’
Whittaker doesn’t want it to be used solely as a boxing gym. He wants it to be viewed as a gym accessible for all sporting interests.
‘I’m really happy that it’s going to be at the Truman Bodden because you’ve got the netball court there, basketball courts and hey, you know what? In American they’ve got the Boys and Girls Club, The Hollywood POL, the police leagues around the country. This will be a place where kids can go and be a part of something positive.
‘The reason why these kids are getting caught up in certain negative things is because they want to be a part of something. And if we promote sports then it will help. I want to help people create a path so that others may follow.
‘Our young Caymanians are the ones predominantly involved in shootings and stabbings and all kinds of nonsense. We need to show them there is all kinds of good things.
‘One thing Mr Dalmain taught me was that I belonged somewhere. He told me there was a place for me, not just to exist but to be a part of. A lot of these kids are looking for something to belong to.
‘For example, a father who gives his kids lots of material things but never has time to be with them cannot understand why they want to hang out with negative people. But those bad people are giving them the time that the father won’t even though they know that getting into drugs and crime is wrong.
‘I believe we all have a role to play and that’s what I want to do, lead by example.
‘One guy said to me that when I was younger I got caught smoking weed and it made it hard for me to get a job. Another guy I was in reform school with is now a good citizen, got a steady job and he’s a father.
‘They want to get involved because they can share their experiences with someone. It’s people too, like James ‘Jammo’ Myles who is trying to get table tennis going on the island, who help make the difference. Then we can be a force.’
Whittaker will pursue a political career Photo: Ron Shillingford