Explosive action anticipated when ‘Chin Checker’ meets the ‘Battersea Bomber’
The May edition of the monthly Friday Night Fights have been shifted slightly and will now be staged
on Friday June 1 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) and boxing buffs have been assured of the top class action that has characterized previous cards.
Initially, Kwesi ‘Lightening Struck Assassin’ Jones was scheduled to fight Trinidadian based Guyanese Shawn Corbin, but certain setbacks in Jones’ camp precluded him from keeping his ring date. The organizers of the ProAm affair, always eager to satisfy Guyanese craving for top class action, quickly substituted Howard ‘Battersea Bomber’ Eastman to fill the slot and from all appearances, Hardy will have to dig deep to come up with a win in what is undoubtedly the toughest fight of his fledgling career.
Both pugilists appeared at the pre-fight presser where they also culminated the deal by signing their respective contracts. Shortly afterwards they engaged in an exchange of barbs with each pugilist spewing vitriol and confidently proclaiming that he will win.
The ProAm cards have generated much interest ever since the inaugural card some two years ago and already Simeon Hardy, the boxer that appears to have benefited the most from the initiative, stands on the verge of international acclaim following a successful tenure that dates back to October 29 2010 when he launched his professional boxing career.
During an illustrious amateur career, Hardy has amassed a record of 43 fights with just four losses. He has chalked up wins in the novices, intermediate and senior championships and was also a golden gloves champion shortly before attaining his professional boxing license.
Hardy first came to prominence as a devastating puncher with a 20 seconds stoppage of Patrick Boston that had him doing a perfect imitation of the Lambada, a popular Brazilian dance. Shortly afterwards, Hardy patented the ‘Chin Checker,’ a wicked left hook that floored his opponents for good. Those ‘chin checks’ were responsible for abbreviated victories over Cassius Matthews, Winston Pompey and Julian Tannis (all in the 2nd round) and Eversley Browne (1st round). In the fight that earned him a spot to contest in the World Boxing Council (WBC) 50th anniversary card, he kept the tradition alive with a devastating 9th round stoppage of Iwan Azore. That victory was the ‘crowning’ moment of his career as he lifted the coveted CABOFE welterweight championship, in the process aligning himself for lucrative fights and purses in the very near future.
While one must admit that the ‘Battersea Bomber’ is way past his prime, one must also admit that Hardy will be required to dig deep if he is to come up with a win. Both boxers have compromised with Hardy climbing up one division while Eastman has climbed down a similar number. It places both pugilists on strange territory but one is more likely to assume that Eastman would be more comfortable in his new division.
Nevertheless, and despite lacking the requisite experience on par with his foe, Hardy has youth and enthusiasm on his side and most importantly, he packs a punch. Eastman on the other hand had had a few wars with some of the best in the sport. After laying a firm foundation in the United Kingdom where he had overwhelmed the opposition, Eastman travelled to the United States of America and engaged William Joppy for the world middleweight title and after 12 hectic rounds where he had decked Joppy once, the pundits felt that he had won; the judges thought differently. Eastman later engaged Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins; a fight he surrendered, before returning to the land of his birth and engaging several of his countrymen. The point is, whether he wins or loses, the ‘Battersea Bomber’ still remains a force to be reckoned with. He lost a recent bout to Trinidadian, Kurt Sinnette but it must be noted that he had unwisely opted to climb one division, from middleweight to light/heavyweight, to engage the Trinidadian. Hardy would present no such forebodings.
Hardy did admit that he was an ardent admirer of Eastman during his heydays. However, he has adamantly stated that he is a consummate professional and will not allow such sentiments to deter him from his goal. Amidst it all, words alone will not do the trick and fans would be coming out in their numbers to assess whether both pugilists will match their words with action.
Eastman steps into the ring with a wealth of experience not to mention determination. Hardy steps into the bout armed with the infamous ‘chin checker,’ a punch he had patented early in his professional career, that was responsible for 6 of his fights ending prematurely. Its youth and energy up against age and experience. Which will prevail? Boxing buffs will just have to come to the show to see the action as it unfolds.
Otherwise, three other professional bouts will entice boxing buffs starting with Trinidadian based Guyanese, Iwan Azore, against Barbadian Miguel Antoine in a 6 rounds lightweight affair while middleweight, James Walcott tackles Kelsie George. Rudolph Fraser will also tackle Lindener, Cassius Matthews.
The ProAm affair is a Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) initiative in collaboration with the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. Activities would be recorded for airing one week after the card has concluded. The admission price remains at $1000 for adults while children pay half that amount. The first bell sounds at 20:00hrs sharp.