Austin/George confident, but DeClou/Hardy circumspect as boxers increase preparations
By Michael Benjamin
If there is anything to be learnt from Barbadian, Shawn ‘The Sniper’ Cox’s demolition of former World Boxing Council (WBC) cruiserweight champion, Wayne ‘Big Truck’ Braithwaite in their recently concluded Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) heavyweight title fight, the long issued caveat against complacency and arrogance should be it.
The general consensus is that Braithwaite had underrated and disrespected the Bajan thus precipitating his (Braithwaite) demise. If one
reflects on the final pre-fight press conference, the disparaging remark where ‘The Truck’ had referred to the Bajan as garbage was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and set Cox in a rage. He had then pronounced that he would have exacted revenge on his nemesis ‘just for that disrespectful utterance.’ True to his word, the Bajan wasted little time in reducing ‘The Truck’ to a toy car and the rest is history.
Edmond DeClou and Simeon ‘Candyman’ Hardy are in similar positions as Braithwaite where the pundits have pronounced them to be the winners in their respective bouts against Mark Austin and Kelsie George respectively. They will tangle in the 21st edition of the ProAm boxing card scheduled for the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) Friday March 30th next.
However, with the beating dished out to Braithwaite even after the pundits had made a similar prediction, both boxers will do well to tread carefully especially since their opponents are just as confident of going home with the spoils.
Hardy’s demolition of Iwan ‘Pure Gold’ Azore has netted him the Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) welterweight title plus a place among the elite boxers to battle for honours in the imminent World Boxing Council (WBC) 50th anniversary boxing spectacle within a few months. While this may prove to be a psychological advantage, Hardy will do well to note that Austin has taken his knocks and after losing to Barbadian, Miguel Antoine and Revlon Lake, has rebounded and may be a big threat.
Hardy, known for the famous ‘Chin Check,’ a vicious left hook that has left his opponents prostrate, regards the bout as academic activity but Austin is planning to upset him and rob him of the glory.
Both boxers were hard at work at the Forgotten Youth Foundation (FYF) and the Andrew Lewis Boxing Gym (ALBG) respectively and from all indications are well primed up for a showdown. Hardy boxed several rounds with Jermaine King last Monday afternoon and will resume sparring activities this afternoon from 16:00hrs. There are still some three weeks to fight night but already Hardy looks in the pink of condition and Austin will be required to ‘put em up’ if he is to emerge victorious.
The latter fighter is also looking good under the tutelage of trainer, George ‘Kanchi’ Oprecht and is concentrating heavily on stamina and fitness; two much needed variables if he is to eclipse this hurdle.
DeClou definitely is the more experienced but George is brimming with confidence and might just pull it off if his opponent from Linden dares to underrate him. Yesterday afternoon, George was hard at work at the Pocket Rocket Boxing Gym (PRBG) in Berbice and his coach, Orland Rogers, believes he has an equal chance of winning the fight. When questioned on his intentions George would only say that he is training pretty hard and would be at his fighting best.
Otherwise, the Mandessa Moses/Anys Cedillo 8 rounds super/bantamweight encounter is expected to whet the appetites of boxing buffs. Moses has been away from the ring for sometime but her training sessions at the ALBG belies this fact. Under the watchful eyes of coach Lennox Daniels the lanky boxer went through her paces and from all indications wants to stop the Venezuelan.
In an earlier discussion Moses had said that she has not left the gym and is ready to resume fistic duties. She packs a ferocious punch and despite not having seen her nemesis in action, is confident that she (Moses) will come out victorious. Time will tell.
Rudolph Fraser also engages Barbadian based Guyanese, Gardiel Roberts, who is still to arrive in Guyana. The two clash in a 6 rounds featherweight encounter and Fraser, who drew first blood in their inaugural encounter sometime last year, has signaled an intention of replicating the feat.
The ProAm Boxing affair is staged under the auspices of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) in collaboration with The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS) and the National Communications Network (NCN). Admission price is $1000 for adults and $500 for children.