Simeon ‘Candyman’ Hardy adulterates ‘Pure Gold’ to capture CABOFE crown
By Michael Benjamin
His chin checkers had blasted Patrick Boston and Winston Pompey into oblivion in previous fights
and he had vowed to inflict similar damage to Iwan ‘Pure Gold’ Azore. However, Simeon ‘Candyman’ Hardy deceptively slammed home a straight right that connected to the jaw of his nemesis, dumping him on the canvass for the full count to cart off the Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) welterweight belt when action in the main bout of the January edition of the Friday Night Fights concluded at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) Friday evening last.
In the main supporting bout, Mitchell Rogers redeemed himself in the eyes of his fans with a unanimous verdict over Anthony Augustin, while earlier Mark Austin overwhelmed Jermaine King to take the honours in their 4 rounds welterweight scrap. Edmond DeClou then survived an early two fisted assault from James Walcott to eventually clinch a unanimous verdict in their catchweight shindig.
Hardy demonstrated remarkable patience from the start of the contest, allowing Azore to attack while he countered. The first round was basically used for the feeling out process as both boxers remained wary of each other. The second round was a replica of the first with both pugilists sizing up each other while waiting to capitalize on false moves.
It was Azore who scored the first meaningful blow, a three punch combination at the start of the third round that pushed Hardy backwards. The later boxer remained unperturbed and utilized the jab to keep his man at bay. Hardy, known for his fast starts, uncharacteristically bounced around, allowing Azore to initiate the attacks while he countered. Azore shuffled forward, methodically putting together his combinations.
Hardy entered the fourth stanza with flailing fists and for the first time in the bout had Azore on the retreat. A looping right connected to Azore’s temple followed by a crunching left hook that deposited Azore to the canvass and the glazed look in his eyes seemed to suggest that he would have stayed there for the count. This was not to be as the Trinidadian based Guyanese pugilist called on his
reserves and re-entered the fray. Luck was on his side as the bell sounded several seconds after he rose.
The expected fireworks of the succeeding round did not materialize as Azore seemed to have recuperated from the onslaught. He boxed around while keeping a safe distance forcing Hardy to load up his punches. Most of them fell short of the mark while those that landed were not forceful enough to clinch the knockout.
Azore’s recovery seemed to have been complete as he danced around in the sixth stanza with Hardy pursuing him and looking for the finisher. Just as Azore seemed to be assuming control of the proceedings Hardy came to life and scored with several telling combinations to his opponent’s body and head. Azore continued to shuffle forward and his demeanor belied the fact that he was on the losing end. For his part, Hardy continued to demonstrate patience, stalking his man with probing punches.
By the start of the ninth frame Azore seemed to be out of danger and had regained his confidence. He slammed home a well executed right cross and stepped forward to follow through when Hardy struck with a deadly straight right that connected to his jaw. The force of the punch sent Azore catapulting to the canvas and even before the referee had commenced the count the general view was that he was a goner.
Azore bravely attempted to rise but his legs refused to cooperate and even after referee Eon Jardine had completed the count and waved off the bout, the hapless Azore remained on the canvass where medical practitioners rushed to his assistance. The time was 2:35secs of the ninth stanza.
Walcott replaced Patrick Boston and put up a serious challenge in the first two rounds. He surprised DeClou with several combinations that forced him on the back foot but the rangy Lindener, known for his slow starts, bided his time and by the end of the first frame had returned several telling punches of his own.
Walcott surprisingly refused to relent when the bell to commence the second round started and drove DeClou backwards with several ramrod blows. Unsurprisingly, DeClou got into stride around the middle of the third round and even though Walcott continued to aggressively address his task he was woefully outclassed and eventually conceded a unanimous verdict.
Rogers and Augustin remained evenly locked up to the second round when the former fighter demonstrated staunch grit and nosed ahead after landing several power shots. At one time Rogers enjoyed target practice as his punches effortlessly connected to Augustin’s defenseless body and head. No one questioned the unanimous verdict rendered by judges Carlton Hopkinson, Bernard De Santos and Andrew Thorne.
The same could be said of the Austin/King duel where the former fighter breezed past the latter after employing a two fisted attack.
ProAm boxing continues on Friday February 24 with another exciting card to be announced.