USA Boxing defends disciplinary actions stemming from unsanctioned Hawaii event

The organization’s local president said those rules are in place to protect the health and safety of the young competitors.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 9:39 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Members of several boxing clubs in Hawaii are facing disciplinary action after they took part in what USA Boxing calls an “unsanctioned event.”

The organization’s local president said those rules are in place to protect the health and safety of the young competitors.

The dispute came to light this week after dozens of young Hawaii boxers and their coaches descended on the Kapolei headquarters of USA Boxing Hawaii, protesting the ban on fighters as young as nine years old.

“It was pretty scary because, you know, they were yelling and making the young kids that were with them also yell at us,” said Eiichi Jumawan, the president of USA Boxing Hawaii.

A lot of the frustration at the rally was directed at Jumawan. The protesters gathered outside his gym.

They thought I was the guy. And that’s why it as unleased on me.

But Jumawan said the decisions are coming from the national level of the organization.

“I have no authority or power to sanction anybody. I neither have the power to unsanction them,” he said.

A letter from USA Boxing’s headquarters in Colorado warned members not to take part in an unsanctioned competition that took place on April 15. Members who took part could be suspended.

Some of Jumawan’s supporters said he’s been facing threats.

“We’re definitely going to show passion when we feel our kids was wronged, but in terms of threatening and whatnot, I’ve not heard any types of threats going out,” said Rylan Redona, the coach of Manawai Boxing.

Members of Manawai were at the April 15gth event. But Redona said the kids shouldn’t be the ones being penalized.

“Especially when they’re young -- nine, ten, 11, into their teens -- they’re going to do whatever their coach says,” Redona said.

He added that many of the young boxers were ready to fly to the mainland for a Junior Olympics competition just two weeks from now. But that trip is in limbo because of the suspensions.

“We all need to get together,” said Redona. “All the coaches, all the teams, the USA Boxing Hawaii president, and we need to figure something out.”

Redona and Jumawan both acknowledged that the coaches were given the opportunity to respond to the warning letter. Redona said he and the other coaches all did so, but have not received a replay from the national organization.

While the coaches are hoping for some kind of resolution, Jumawan said it’s out of his hands.

“It’s a hard, hard lesson to learn that way,” Jumawan said. “I wish it didn’t come to that.”