Over the past several weeks the Ministry of Tourism, along with the Ministry of Sports and some of our departments have been in serious negotiations with Gary Shaw Promotions in an effort to bring a world class, televised boxing event to the Cayman Islands that would feature our very own Charles Whittaker.
However, given the global economic climate and its impact on available discretionary Government funds, coupled with the fact that this Showtime bout was an unbudgeted item of very large magnitude that only presented itself this year, the Government has decided that it was just not possible to move forward with the event at this time.
The first Showtime boxing event, ‘Cayman Knockout’, was held in 2008 at the Royal Watler Terminal, and cost US$1.1 million. The proposed event for 2009 would have featured Charles Whittaker as a headline bout, but would have cost US$1.85 million, or over 60 per cent more.
Immediately after the Government’s decision on Friday, Minister Clifford advised Charles Whittaker and Gary Shaw Promotions of the decision. We hope that similar opportunities to work together for the benefit of Charles Whittaker and the Cayman Islands tourism industry will be available in the future when circumstances allow us to pursue them.
The Government is truly disappointed that we were not able to pursue this opportunity at this time. We hope to eventually work together to find an opportunity for our local champ but unfortunately we are not in a position to pursue this proposed unbudgeted event at this time.
Charles E. Clifford
Minister of Tourism, Environment, Investment and Commerce