Sport and politics are not supposed to mix but they inevitably do because of the dynamics of the two entities.
Charles ‘The Killa’ Whittaker can attest to that having spent all of this year waiting to see how the recent elections would unfold and praying for a UDP victory.
His prayers were answered two weeks ago when the incumbent PPM was ousted and McKeeva Bush returned to be Leader of Business.
Killa had a prickly relationship with the PPM who he felt did not fully respect his achievements of becoming a world class light-middleweight under extremely difficult circumstances.
A year ago Whittaker was dismayed to be added onto the Cayman Knockout bill organised by the Department of Tourism with top American promoter Dan Goossen only as an after thought because he made a public fuss about it. He also felt his $20,000 purse was derisory too.
Four months ago, Whittaker’s hopes of fighting for a world title were raised then dashed suddenly when the PPM said they could not afford to stage the contest against WBC champ Vernon ‘The Viper’ Forrest.
For Whittaker that was the final straw and he openly campaigned for the UDP and fellow West Bayer Bush to come in.
Forrest was stripped of his title last month because of long-term back injury.
Killa now has a new enthusiasm for the task at hand. He was training in the tiny boxing gym at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex last week with children play fighting in the background.
He goes to Florida today for a week then joins his coach Norman Wilson in the Philippines for an intensive training camp before having a low-key contest out there.
‘It’s a new government, new regime and first of all I want to see the country up and running,’ Whittaker, 35, said
‘Hopefully, when McKeeva gets things up going and people are settled in their new jobs and those who lost their homes from Hurricane Paloma are comfortable, the government will focus on me. Obviously there are more important things than one individual but right now, certainly, I’m happy.
‘I’m excited about going to training camp in the Philippines and I’ll be fighting over there in July, probably against somebody from that region.
‘Then the plan is to come back here and fight the former world champion Kassim Ouma in November, just before Pirates’ Week kicks off.
‘Then hopefully, next year I’ll be challenging the world champion who is likely to be Sergio Martinez. That’s the talk right now and we’ll see what happens.’
Whittaker is relieved that his career is now clear after six months inactivity. ‘Absolutely. I really want to thank the people of the Cayman Islands for voting the way they voted because if the previous administration had stayed in I’m pretty sure they would have cut my contract and they had other plans with Dan Goossen which did not include me.
‘So I’m glad I’ve got a plan of action and like the rest of the Cayman Islands I can look forward to new horizons and better days.