The Saint Lucia Boxing Association (SLBA) is mourning the loss of its First Vice-President, Robert Joseph, who died on Tuesday, March 8, following a brief period of illness.
Up to the time of his passing, Joseph was a member of the SLBA, where he served for more than a decade. He was SLBA Secretary before being elected SLBA First Vice-President last December.
In mid-February this year, Joseph, an International Boxing Association (IBA) 1-star referee, was appointed to the Competition Committee of the American Boxing Confederation (AMBC).
“It’s a sad day for me as a person and as a President of our boxing association,” said SLBA President, David “Shakes” Christopher, on Wednesday. “Robert was like a brother to me.”
Christopher said he first met Joseph a year ago at a boxing exhibition when Joseph “Reds” Perreira was President of the Association. Joseph, a former boxer himself, expressed interest in joining the SLBA.
“Robert grew from strength to strength within the Association,” Christopher recalled. “He moved from being a Referee Judge to Secretary to First Vice-President. Robert was always dedicated and ensured that everything was well organized.”
Christopher added: “He always pushed for Saint Lucian boxers getting the best exposure and recognition and that they were on top of their game.”
Joseph was instrumental in the refurbishment of the Vigie Boxing Gym and also played various other roles in the Association.
“He will surely be missed,” Christopher stated. “In 2019, when I had some medical issues, Robert held the reins and steered our Association through some turbulent times. He also represented me at a major IBA conference in Panama.”
Christopher expressed sympathies to Joseph’s family: “I want to wish Robert’s family, relatives and friends the best of courage as they go through this tough period.”
Former SLBA President, Joseph “Reds” Perreira, joined in paying tribute to the late sports administrator, describing Joseph’s passing as “a great loss to boxing in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean”.
“The passing of Robert Joseph is a real shock to boxing,” Perreira said on Wednesday. “I was extremely lucky when he approached my Association and offered his services. Initially, he had a boxing background in England, but quickly moved into the area of refereeing. He moved on and became an official and was excellent on the computer.”
Perreira added: “When you think of his passing, you must also think of his immediate family and friends. His wife has a strong personality. All of our sympathies and thoughts are with her and their children.”
Meanwhile, the IBA, which is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, issued a statement on Wednesday, March 9. Signed by IBA President, Umar Kremlev, the statement reads:
“Dear Saint Lucia Boxing Association and Dear family of Mr. Robert Joseph:
On behalf of myself and the entire boxing family, I would like to express my most heartfelt condolences and my deepest sympathy for the mourning of Mr. Joseph.
“He dedicated many years of his life to the development of boxing in Saint Lucia and devoted considerable efforts to make sure that the Saint Lucia athletes have the best conditions and opportunities to improve their performance. I am convinced that the legacy that Mr. Joseph left will be always remembered and that his great work will be continued for the benefit of sport.
“Would you please pass on our sincerest condolences to all of your family members and let them know that we share your sorrow.”
The Executive Committee and other members of the St. Lucia Boxing Association express our deepest condolences to the family, relatives and friends of Mr. Robert Joseph. We pledge our commitment to ensuring that his contributions to our sport will be immortalized.