Despite a year of fluctuating fortunes local professional boxers progressed credibly
Ever since Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis record breaking world title feat where he defeated James Page for the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight belt, local boxers have experienced fluctuating fortunes with most of them losing the prestigious accolade.
That apart, the year 2012 has seen the revitalization of boxing cards, mostly the Friday Night Fights, piloted by the officials of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) that served as the catalyst to the achievement by many local pugilists of the prestigious Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) belt. This accolade is further regarded as a gateway into the world rankings and by extension, the acquisition of world title fights.
In a bid to revitalize his flagging career, Wayne’ ‘Big Truck’ Braithwaite signed up to fight Barbadian Shawn ‘The Sniper’ Cox. He lost that bout and then tried for a shot at the local heavyweight title which he also lost to Shawn Corbin.
Several other former world raters also suffered debilitating fortunes and the year witnessed several of them calling it a day. Vivian Harris was one such fighter. He had done Guyana proud after defeating Diosbely’s Hurtado, winning the WBC junior/welterweight title. Andrew Lewis has not officially hung up his gloves but due to non-activity and based on the fact that he has not been in the gym much recently seems to suggest that he has called it a day also. Andre Purlette was recently in Guyana and has indicated his disinterest in reentering the ring while Gary StClair, who now resides in Australia seem to have lost the verve for the sport.
Fortunately, during last year, the Friday Night Fights, brainchild of President of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) Peter Abdool, swung into top gear and hatched out several promising pugilists the likes of Elton ‘Coolie Bully’ Dharry, Simeon ‘Candyman’ Hardy, Edmond DeClou and Kwesi Lightening Struck Assassin’ Jones among others; all but Jones won CABOFE titles while Jones is the local light/heavyweight king.
Hardy has benefited from the ProAm cards and over the past year has instilled fear into the hearts of his adversaries. He resumed his journey from 2011 where he had stopped Patrick Boston in 20secs to claim the record for the fastest knockout. In 2012, he has had many close shaves none closer than the Eastman encounter which boxing buffs said was a gift. Nevertheless, Hardy remains one of the talents emerging from the ProAm cards and who is definitely one to watch for in the near future.
Maybe one of the biggest disappointments occurred when Shondell ‘Mystery Lady’ Alfred traveled to Mexico to take on World Boxing Council (WBC) female Super/flyweight champion Mexican, Zulina Muñoz at Foro Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico. That bout never came off after Alfred was diagnosed to be pregnant just before the fight.
Gwendolyn O’Neil’s impending return bout against Carlotta Ewell is still to materialize and since time is not in her favour, the aged O’Neil could now be singing the swan song. That is the bad news; the good news is that several worthwhile pugilists are standing on the precipice awaiting their chance at world acclaim. This follows the highly touted WBC Anniversary tournament which has undergone several postponements. According to Mr. Abdool, this tournament is set to take place during February 2013. When, or if it materializes, local pugilists will receive lucrative purses and rankings. This should have been one of the highlights of 2012.
As it is 2013 has arrived and we are still awaiting its arrival. Notwithstanding, 2012 has been a favourable year for the sport and has set a favourable template for the New Year. Happy New Year folks.