When he appeared on ‘Boxing Revue,’ Wednesday night last, to update viewers of his progress for the imminent Friday night fights slated for Friday August 26 next at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH), Cecil Smith promised his fans that he would be prepared for anything his opponent, Revlon Lake has to offer, on his way to capturing the honours.
Not many people took him seriously especially when it was noted that the tall lightweight did not make that much of a favourable impression in recent fights.
Those visiting the Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis Boxing Gym (ALBG) last Thursday afternoon would have had second thoughts after witnessing him in action against several sparring partners.
All told, Smith boxed eight rounds among two opponents, Ray Sandiford and Ron Smith, and if he takes that kind of form into the ring on fight night, Revlon Lake would need more that his recently acquired reputation, where he knocked out Mark Austin, to take this bout.
Smith was especially aggressive as he unleashed a two fisted assault on Sandiford who sought refuge in clinches, and when that proved ineffective, simply scurried around the ring attempting to evade Smith’s flailing fists.
Upon completion of the hectic session, renowned boxing coach, Lennox Daniels took Smith through his paces with three rounds on the striking pads before turning his attention to step work.
Here, Smith was required to sprint up the flight of stairs; an exercise Daniels explained is geared to strengthen his charge’s legs in preparation for the anticipated grueling contest.
Smith is brimming with confidence. On last Wednesday’s edition of ‘Boxing Revue’ he had confessed that his recent performances were below par.
He said that he has done a self assessment and came up with certain reasons for his poor form. He refused to elaborate but said that after conducting rigid introspection, he instituted the necessary changes to enhance his performance in the impending bout.
Lake resides in Barbados but returned to Guyana to prepare for the bout.
Apparently, he had either completed training sessions for the day or did so at a late hour for, when Kaieteur Sport visited the gyms on Thursday afternoon, he was not in camp.
Nevertheless, Guyanese have already witnessed the skill and power exhibited by Lake and already tongues are wagging as the betting boys select their winner.
Lake is a late fighter as seen in his bout against Austin when he took all of the first seven rounds to get into full flow. He will have to make some adjustments and one suspect that Smith will want to capitalize on this anomaly and accumulate some early points.
He will have to be wary of Lake’s crunching power being aware that any mistake on his part could spell curtains for him as Austin had discovered.
Pauline London is also working out at the ALBG. She spent 12 rounds on the heavy bag and a further hour bouncing on a huge truck tire with a 15 pounds dumbbell in each hand. “This exercise is geared to strengthen the legs and arms,” her coach disclosed.
London also spent a considerable period of the afternoon on the striking pads while her coach, George Oprecht nods approvingly. “Veronica is a tough customer and so I am putting in the extra effort to beat her,” said London. “But I will win this time,” she confidently proclaimed.
Kwesi ‘Lightening Struck Assassin’ Jones was also lathered in sweat in preparation for his 12 rounds contest where he puts his local light/heavyweight title on the line against another Barbadian based Guyanese, Cleveland Fraser.
The latter fighter would be seeking redemption after the humiliating loss to local and Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) heavyweight champion, Kurt Bess in Linden recently.
Reports out of the Carrington Boxing gym in Barbados, where he is honing his skill, suggest that Fraser is applying himself diligently to the task with ambitions of carting off Jones’ belt.
Jones has other ideas and his manager, Colin Retemiah is confident that his charge would come out victorious. “Kwesi’s sessions commence as early as 05:00hrs where he engages in approximately 6 miles of hectic road work.
He returns here (the gym) in the afternoon for technical work on the punching bag, speedball and pads work among other activities,” explained Mr. Retemiah.
The manager is so confident that his charge will prevail that he has already started making plans for the future. “After this bout I intend to go after the light/heavyweight CABOFE title,” explained Mr. Retemiah.
He further intimated that former CABOFE light/heavyweight king, Shawn Corbin, has vacated the title and Jones would be the next in line for a shot.
In the other bout, Ray Sandiford takes on Barbadian based Guyanese, Gardiel Roberts in a 4 rounds lightweight affair.
Sandiford was also in action yesterday afternoon and sparred several stiff rounds with Ron Smith and Cecil Smith before engaging in bag work, calisthenics and skipping. This is a big step but boxers willing to take an occasional gamble have converted their ‘luck’ to prestigious world accolades.
Sandiford would, therefore, be anxious to grasp this opportunity with both hands. A victory for him would signal an important turning point in his career.
Four amateur bouts will compliment the professional segment of the card.
Nankumar Singh, the exciting lightweight pugilist from the Republican Boxing Gym will oppose Marlon Darrel in what should be a crowd pleaser as all fights that involved the Republican pugilist have been. Guyana Defense Force (GDF) representative Eon Bancroft tackles Kelsie George in a middleweight affair while Imran Khan will duke it out with Pocket Rocket Boxing gym representative, Richard Williamson in a bantamweight affair.
The night’s proceedings will get underway with an 89lbs encounter between Akeem Daniels and Romel Rowley. As usual, the boxers would receive large food hampers complements of furniture giants, Courts.
Both groups are all ready for action and fans would do well to visit the CASH in anticipation of a slugfest.
The ProAm boxing cards are an initiative of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control in collaboration with the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA), National Communications Network (NCN) and the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports.
Admission remains at $1000 for adults and half that amount for children. NCN would carry a live broadcast from 20:00hrs when the first bell sounds.
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