June 13, 2005 Five-time boxing champion and V.I. native son Emile Griffith will greet his fans personally Wednesday night at the Old Mill Restaurant in Contant when he takes part in a press conference for the V.I. Amateur Boxing Federation.
However, a welcoming committee from the federation will meet Griffith firsthand when he arrives at noon Tuesday on American Airlines. The public is invited to attend.
Griffith, now 67, gained international prominence this year with the release of a documentary on his life, "Ring of Fire: the Emile Griffith Story," which won acclaim at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The documentary was later aired on the USA Network in April.
The April 12 issue of Sports Illustrated has a probing, incisive profile on Emile entitled "The Shadow Boxer," by Gary Smith. It is available online at www.sportsillustrated.cnn.com.
(Also see the Source article, "Documentary Sheds New Light on Emile Griffith".)
The VIABF and the Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation said the community, especially youth groups, is invited to the celebration in Contant. Another V.I. boxing legend, Julian Jackson, a three-time world champion, will also be at the event.
Jose "Tony" Rosalia, VIAFB president, said the press conference will introduce the VIABF National Team, which will compete nightly at the 21st Caribbean Amateur Boxing Championships from June 18 to 22 at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School. Bouts begin at 5:30 p.m.
Seventeen Caribbean countries are represented in the championships, the federation said.
Former senator and sometime radio personality Stephanie Scott-Williams said that at the June 18 opening ceremony for the championships, she has organized a hat parade for Griffith, to honor his former career as a milliner.
The opening ceremony is at 5 p.m. The other days, the bouts start at 5:30 p.m. On the final night, June 22, the closing ceremony will be at 10 p.m.
For more information, call the VIABF at 776-7995 or 771-7107.
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