Gwendolyn O’Neil/Sharon Ward headline Holland Enterprise promotions ‘New Year’s Beatings’
Boxing buffs disappointed at the aborted Boxing Day fight card will eventually have their desires satisfied following fresh negotiations between head of the Holland’s Enterprise Promotions (HEP), Carwyn Holland and the boxers.
The bout is now scheduled to be staged at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on January 29th next. Holland convened a press conference yesterday morning at the offices of one of the sponsors, Auto Works, 34 Campbell Avenue, Campbellville to brief media operatives of the new developments.
The card, initially dubbed ‘Season’s Beatings,’ have been rechristened ‘New Year’s Beatings’ and from all appearances the respective fighters are intent on preserving that sobriquet. In the feature attraction, Gwendolyn ‘Stealth Bomber’ O’Neil will oppose Sharon ‘The Spoiler’ Ward in a 6 rounds light/heavyweight scrap while Mitchell Rogers and Anthony Augustin square off in a heavyweight match in the main supporting bout.
Local junior/welterweight champion, Trinidadian based Iwan Azore will fight Laurex Benn over six rounds while Orland ‘Pocket Rocket’ Rogers and New York based Guyanese, Elton ‘Coolie Bully’ Dharry clash in a 4 rounds bantamweight affair. Clive Atwell, now undergoing a training stint in Antigua and Barbuda will start things off when he opposes Charlton Skeete in a 4 rounds featherweight affair.
All of the boxers, with the exception of Azore and Atwell, who are yet to arrive in Guyana, attended the press conference, each exuding confidence in winning their respective fights. O’Neil, who now resides in the USA had arrived in Guyana two weeks before the aborted Boxing Day clash and had stayed on in the hope that the fight would have become a reality.
In the meantime, Ward had undergone a stiff training regiment in Russia and only recently returned to Guyana. She said that she has benefited immensely from her short stint in the Soviet Republic and is ready to showcase what she has learnt.
“Russia or no Russia she had better come prepared for a war,” O’Neil pronounced. “It is certainly not going to be an easy ride,” she further warned. Ward matched the former WIBA champion’s aggression with caustic remarks of her own, “I have never backed down from a fight and I can’t see myself doing so now,” she boasted.
The two spent sometime spewing venom at each other and then the situation got a bit out of hand. O’Neil lost her cool and angrily poked her hand into the Lindener’s face. Ward refused to retaliate in kind and instead promised to avenge the act when the two enter the ring. “I came back to Guyana to fight and I will knock Ward out in the third round,” predicted the ‘Stealth Bomber.’
The Lindener refused to be baited into a verbal warfare and stoically promised to let her fists do her talking on fight night.
The two heavyweights, Augustin and Mitchell were also spewing fire. Augustin refused to offer a prediction but assured all and sundry that at the end of the 6 rounds scrap he would be the victor. “We have sparred before and I have his measure,” said Augustin. To which Rogers chimed in “This is not a sparring session. This would be a full fledged war.” Sporting a chiseled frame Mitchell, who is also the 2nd place finisher in the 2009 Mr. Guyana Bodybuilding competition, quickly asserted his position, “My fans know that my fights don’t go the distance,” he said
“Are you predicting a knockout?” this reporter wanted to know. “I am just stating a bald fact,” Mitchell responded.
Indeed, the current heavyweight champion boasts a flattering record of 5 wins from 6 fights with his only loss being to Trinidadian, Kerston Manswell. His wins were all knockouts. Augustin has recently earned his license to fight professionally and his first fight against Clyde Williams in February last year ended in a draw. This bout has taken on the label ‘Battle of the Beverage Giants’ since Mitchell is employed at the Banks DIH Ltd while Augustin is employed with the Demerara Distillers Ltd.
The only other fighter present at the press conference, Laurex Benn was confident that he would take care of Azore.
Benn said that he has been training diligently for the bout and has no intention of losing.
The fighters officially opened camp last week and would be honing their skills at the Andrew Lewis Gym, the Forgotten Youth Foundation and the Harpy Eagles Gym. Ward has returned to Linden to round off preparations.