McCarter ready to give drugs a knockout blow

WORLD Boxing Association junior middleweight champion Layla "Amazing" McCarter has promised to do her best when she cautions boxers - especially females - in East London about the dangers of drugs and substance abuse.

The American and her trainer Luis Tapia arrived in East London on Monday.

They were invited by promoter Andile Sdinile to be part of the WBA's KO Drugs campaign that started on Sunday.

Sdinile and the Americans enjoy a cordial relationship that started last year when Sdinile organised the vacant WBA junior middleweight title fight between McCarter and Noni Tenge at the Orient Theatre in September.

McCarter stopped Tenge in the eighth round.

Sdinile said while Tapia had already done his part, his charge will conduct clinics at Downtown Boxing and Fitness Centre today.

She hopes her involvement will inspire some hope.

"I am here to say no to drugs whether in sports or life in general because they are bad for our health," she said. "I am also here to promote sports because it gives people direction in life."

McCarter said no sports person must enjoy unfair advantage over the other because of substance abuse.

"The battlefields must be level."

McCarter said boxing made her life what it is today.

"I would not be in South Africa for the second time if it was not for boxing," said the 34-year-old fighter who has also captured world titles in the featherweight, lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.

Sdinile added that South Africa's boxing Hall of Fame inductee Stan Christodoulou, who represents the WBA in Africa, and respected American referee Tony Weeks will train officials, boxing trainers, boxers and seconds about the dangers of doping.

"This campaign is the brainchild of WBA president Gilberto Mendoza," explained Sdinile, who paid tribute to the 70-year-old Venezuelan for granting his wish to do the campaign in East London, which Sdinile referred to as the mecca of boxing in Africa.