Gerald Smith, chief operations officer of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, was recently named president of the newly-formed Native American Amateur Boxing Association.
Smith, who managed the 1996 U.S. Olympic boxing team, said he had retired from boxing-related duties.
But he could not refuse when approached about the new position by Jim Millman, chief executive officer of U.S. Amateur Boxing Inc.
“It was the only thing that could have gotten me involved again,” Smith said.
An initial project of the Native American Amateur Boxing Association is a boxing tournament tentatively planned in June at the Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas.
From this tournament, Native American boxers may be invited to participate in an October international boxing event in Finland.
Eventually, qualifying Native boxers for the Olympics is an ultimate goal of the NAABA, said Smith.
NAABA was formed late last year, and last month entered into a group membership agreement with USA Boxing.
USA Boxing has the authority and recognition as the national governing body of amateur boxing in the U.S., and is a member of the International Association of Amateur Boxing and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Through the agreement, USA Boxing will assist NAABA in creating a program of athletic excellence for Native American amateur boxing, said Smith.
The program will be on both the national and international levels, he said.
Smith said NAABA proposes to provide a platform for developing the sport through communication and education; through leadership in its promotion; by maintaining a role as a leader in the development of boxing equipment and safety rules; and complying with all required officials rules, regulations and policies of USA Boxing.
The NAABA invites all Natives to submit proposed logo and emblem ideas for consideration and use.
All Native boxing coaches, boxers, officials and clubs, call Dave Lubs, NAABA secretary, at (877) 426-9464, ext. 870 or e-mail DaveL@ringside.com; or contact Gerald Smith at (541) 553-3228, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in address listing/communications.