By Michael Benjamin
In what should have been 12 rounds of fistic fury, Leon ‘Hurry Up’ Moore disposed of Dexter Marques in 1:40 seconds of the second frame to relieve him of his bantamweight crown in the main preliminary bout of the S&S Promotions boxing card at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) on Saturday evening.
The main bout between Lennox ‘Too Sharp’ Allen and Leon ‘The Lion’ Gilkes fizzed out into another farce, when the former dumped the latter to the canvass, once in the first round, and again, this time for good, in just 50 seconds of the second stanza of their super-middleweight title fight to be adjudged, ‘winner and new champion.’
If Gilkes had been as aggressive in the ring as he was during the pre-fight press conference, fans would have undoubtedly felt satisfied. At that forum, he had promised to take Allen for a long ride on the train. At the actual fight, it appeared as though Gilkes’ train had scarcely chugged out of the station before it developed engine problems and grounded to a halt.
While Allen rushed out at the sound of the first bell, Gilkes started uncertainly, pawing timidly at his opponent’s face. The new super-middleweight king, fighting out of a southpaw stance, blocked the few timid blows that Gilkes offered and retaliated with several ramrod right jabs.
Merely two minutes into the first stanza had elapsed, when Allen struck. A sharp right jab connected to Gilkes’ nose and before he could have reasserted himself, Allen slammed in a straight left and down went Gilkes. He rose at the count of seven and rejoined the fray, this time working up a nice rhythm as he attempted to shake off the effects of Allen’s initial assault.
Allen appeared in no hurry as he methodically picked his opponent apart. He held a high guard, thwarting ‘The Lion’s’ efforts at scoring the big punch. Gilkes did well to survive the first round.
Gilkes rushed out at the sound of the bell to start the second stanza and collided into one of Allen’s ramrod jabs. He attempted to brush it off but the no nonsense Allen stepped in with another one two combination and Gilkes collapsed on the canvass. Allen’s confidence in his punching power was as such that, even before the referee had reached five, of the mandatory eight count, he was already celebrating the victory.
For all his threats and bold promises, Gilkes refused to rejoin the fray; meekly surrendering the super-middleweight title to the man, he had earlier promised to ‘take for a long ride in the train. Instead it was the fans that were taken on the long ride.
In the main preliminary bout, Dexter Marques who, over the past three weeks, had threatened to do Leon ‘Hurry Up’ Moore all manner of things, in defence of his bantamweight title, discovered, albeit painfully, that walking the walk was far more difficult than talking the talk.
In a lopsided affair, Moore disposed of him in 1:40 seconds of the second frame, in the process, relieving him of his bantamweight championship belt and a chunk of pride.
Moore started the bout slowly, sizing up his man, while Marques, in his usual busy body manner, danced and punched from a safe distance. During the early stages of the contest, Moore was guilty of lunging in and the fleet-footed Marques capitalized on this shortcoming by dancing out of range. Both boxers used the first round to engage in the feeling out process.
Marques opened the second stanza with probing jabs, while Moore continued to lunge at his man without much success. Suddenly, Moore emerged from his lethargy and connected with a left jab and a straight right to Marques’ head. The former bantamweight king tumbled to the canvass, a pained look on his face. Even then, boxing pundits thought that his delayed rise from the canvass was merely a ploy to utilise as much of the mandatory count as possible, while he cleared his head. In the end, it mattered not whether the ‘third man’ had counted to nine or ninety-nine, Marques had already decided that he had had enough.
Asked for an explanation for his poor showing, Marques explained that after receiving the blow that floored him, he became disoriented. “I don’t know what happened,” he said, “He caught me with a good punch. I attempted to rise but I felt as though something was holding me down,” Marques explained.
Said Moore, “That was an easy fight for me; I only needed one round to assess him and I saw that he really had nothing for me to be worried about, so naturally I decided to end the bout,” Moore explained. He also said that Marques failed to utilise many scoring opportunities presented to him during his brief stay in the ring. “That was an easy fight. From the first round I assessed him and I realised that he was not in my class.”
Pressed for a further comment regarding the strategy employed by Marques, Moore said, “He has a lot to learn! There were times when I stepped into range but he failed to capitalize on those moments.” He further intimated that he would re-enter the gym within the next week in preparation of the North American Boxing Championship at an imminent date.
Marques’ coach, Sebert Blake, felt that his charge had a good chance of winning the fight but he did not follow the pre-fight game plan. “We had planned to box around in the early parts of the fight and wait for Moore to fade, but Dexter decided to mix very early and got tagged.”
Quizzed on whether, in retrospect, the decision to engage Moore was ill-advised Blake said, “Dexter is the champion and we were required to make a mandatory defence so really there was no way we could have avoided Moore.”
On the issue of future fights for his charge, Blake intimated that his advice to Marques would be to relax and reassert himself. “Afterwards we would approach the executive of the Boxing Board to see if we could acquire a few fights through them,” Blake concluded.
Meanwhile, the fight of the night was surely the middleweight contest between Kwesi Jones and Edmond DeClou. The latter had suffered a loss to the former in the last card promoted by S&S Promotions.
Confident that he could have replicated the earlier feat, Jones attacked DeClou from the onset. Only this time, instead of tame resistance, DeClou dug in and matched Jones’ aggression, blow for blow. The rangy DeClou, probably remembering where he had blundered in the first encounter, started slowly, not willing to take unnecessary chances. In the meantime, Jones, brimming with confidence, attacked but most of his punches went wild. By the beginning of the second round, DeClou had measured his man enough to launch an assault. He danced, slipped and feinted, intermittently using four-punch combinations to full effect.
By the end of the second stanza, DeClou had developed awesome confidence and with the crowd firmly behind him, he unleashed a two fisted attack on Jones that went unanswered for the most part. As the crowd egged him on, the rangy fighter from the Mining City made use of his height and reach to full effect. The judges, Clairmonte DeSouza, Rawle Aaron and Carlton Hopkinson were impressed with what they saw and voted unanimously for the Lindener.
Debbie Tyson, who in her debut fight had defeated Avlon Scotland, and was still on cloud nine, was given a harsh reminder that she would not have the luxury of soft opposition in all of her encounters. She did put up a valiant fight but in the end, Sharon Warde, by dint of a courageous fourth round effort, eked out a split decision. Indeed, both fighters put up a masterful performance but in the end, it was Warde, who found the second wind to rally to the end. A dejected Tyson said afterwards that she was considering retirement from the sport.
In the opening bout of the night, Pauline London, who had earlier promised to beat up Shelly ‘The Boom’ Gibson, kept her promise except for the part where she had promised to knock out ‘The Boom.’ Weighing in at 61 pounds less than Gibson at 274, London matched her opponent’s aggression and simply punched her way to the first win of her professional career.
Afterwards, she issued a call to her sibling, Pamela, to put her signature on the dotted lines. “I am ready to fight Pammy for her title,” Pauline declared.
Indeed, the pre-fight boasts in the main and preliminary bouts were many; the predictions outlandish and the strategies well construed. In the end, it boiled down to guts and determination, grossly missing from the repertoire of Gilkes and Marques.
Dec 10, 2018By Calvin Chapman East Coast Demerara’s Annandale Secondary School will go down in history as the inaugural champions of the 12-team Guyoil/Tradewind Tankers under-18 football league; a competition...
Dec 10, 2018
Dec 10, 2018
Dec 10, 2018
Dec 10, 2018
Dec 10, 2018
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]