By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
CARL Hield's road to the 2020 Olympic Games will begin with his participation in a tune-up tournament in Pennsylvania this weekend.
Hield, the country's top amateur boxer, is looking forward to making the Bahamas team that will compete in Tokyo, Japan, from July 24 to August 9.
The 32-year-old welterweight switched his training camp from Havana, Cuba, to Pennsylvania where he's spent the past eight months in training.
"It's a warm-up to get me ready for the final Olympic qualifier," said Hield from his training site. "I just need to see where I'm at in my training."
In making the move from Cuba, Hield said the training has been conducive to what he wants to achieve, so he will see how it goes when he compete on Saturday night.
"When I was in Cuba, we used to go and train with the seniors," Hield said. "Over here, the difference is that you can get a lot more sparring from competitors who are around your weight class.
"So it's something different, but it's just adding on to what I already have. With the training I am getting now, it's showing more improvement and it is allowing me to do a lot more."
With the training schools in Cuba closed for the summer in June, July and August, Hield said he made the decision to the USA where he's being trained by Zach Campbell.
"I came over here and got in some good training and sparring," Hield said. "Normally when school opens, I still go over there in Cuba and train for about a month. That is where I got it all started."
Hield, however, said the cost of his expenses in the USA has been more costly than it is in Cuba, but he's been able to cope with it. He said the competition makes it so much easier for him to train.
"This is my first fight for the year, so I'm looking forward to it," Hield said.
While Hield is hoping to make his presence felt at this year's Olympics, he's represented the Bahamas in two Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India in 2010 where he got a bronze medal and lost out in the round of 32 in Melbourne, Australia in 2006.
Additionally, he also participated in two World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2011 and again in Milan, Italy in 2009. On both trips, he failed to get out of the round of 64.