Aug 02, 2010 Sports
– says they performed commendably
By Michael Benjamin
Vice President of the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA), Maurice Rajkumar is adamant that despite accruing only two bronze medals in the just concluded 21st Central American and Caribbean (CAC) championships in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, local amateur boxers have performed creditably especially when all the circumstances are evaluated.
Mr. Rajkumar returned to Guyana Friday evening last and spoke with Kaieteur Sport at its Saffon Street office Saturday morning.
The Vice President said that the team experienced horrendous circumstances from the onset and were required to overnight in neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago after the Caribbean Airlines craft experienced mechanical problems. The team was unable to facilitate its onward journey from that Twin Island Republic until some five hours after their arrival.
Mr. Rajkumar pointed out that the team arrived in Puerto Rico but several of the boxers were devoid of their luggage. Among them were Clevon Rock, Bert Braithwaite, Devon Boatswain and Herlando Allicock.
This occurrence rendered the boxers incapacitated and after strenuous efforts to rectify the problem failed, the management of the team decided to purchase fresh gears for the boxers. This was two days after their arrival and three before the start of the tournament.
“The boxers were beginning to get agitated because they were unable to commence training sessions and also had to be cognizant of retaining their respective weights,” related Rajkumar. He further explained that the gears eventually arrived merely one day prior to the first fight.
“This was an extremely taxing ordeal for the boxers and the management team had to work overtime to assuage the situation,” disclosed Mr. Rajkumar.
Some of the tactics employed was to keep the boxers in a buoyant mood even as they capitalized on the meager time allotted to their preparations while in Puerto Rico.
The GABA Vice President feels that the reports appearing in this newspaper did not truly reflect the performances of the boxers. He said that a perusal of the articles on the internet daunted the spirits of the staunchest supporter and was the topic of discussion in between bouts. However, in all fairness to this newspaper, the reports were either dispatched through the internet or by telephone, compliments of the Chef-de mission of the team.
Commenting on the performances of the boxers in the actual bouts, the GABA Vice President said that despite the adverse reports, the actual viewing of the bouts would have painted a clearer picture.
He said that Clevon Rock was the first to enter the ring against Wellington Arias of the Dominican Republic. The Guyanese pugilist lost that bout by an18-13 margin. “Rock give a reasonable account of himself but as Terrence (Poole) explained afterwards, he may have been hurt early in the bout and thereafter became timid,” related Rajkumar.
Bert Braithwaite also lost his bout against Trinidadian Aaron Hassette but the Vice President feels that Braithwaite has shown the kind of propensity that augurs well for the future. Mr. Rajkumar believes that of all the boxers on show, Boatswain’s display against Nicaraguan Carlos Thomas Sequiera should be complimented even though the Guyanese lost the bout. Rajkumar said that the Guyanese pugilist bloodied his opponent’s face in a brutal display of power punching. “Sequiera received two mandatory 8 counts which should have resulted in a stoppage but the referee inexplicably allowed the contest to continue,” explained Rajkumar.
He further said that in his anxiety to score a knockout, Boatswain threw caution and ended up on the losing end. “I think that this was the most atrocious decision I have witnessed in a long time,” said Mr. Rajkumar.
Allicock next battled against Costa Rican David Rodriguez Jimenez and managed to battle up to the third stanza before receiving several punches and 3 standing eight counts and the eventual stoppage. The manager of the team admitted that Jimenez was definitely too strong for Allicock and won the bout fair and square. He said that shortly after the culmination of the bout Allicock collapsed in the ring and had to be air-vacced to the hospital.
“The doctors detected an air bubble in the region of his heart and ordered that he be admitted. He was still hospitalized up to the time of my departure but was out of danger,” reported Rajkumar.
Of all the boxers on show, Dexter Jordon was the most impressive. In his first bout he opposed Panamanian Edgar Valencia and won by an 11-3 margin.
“This youngster displayed enormous talent and grit,” reported Rajkumar. That victory assured the pugilist from the Forgotten Youth Foundation (FYF) at least a bronze medal.
In the fight for the silver medal he was matched against Puerto Rican, Jonathon Gonsalves, a current world amateur champion.
Unfazed by the Puerto Rican’s reputation, Jordon turned in a crowd pleasing display but lost the bout 8-3. Rajkumar said that despite the loss the Guyanese pugilist was accorded an overwhelming round of applause from the spectators. Shortly after returning to his dressing room Gonsalves paid him a visit and personally congratulated him on his sterling performance. “I do believe that with a little nurturing Michael (Jordon) will gel into a force to be reckoned with,” stated Rajkumar.
Policeman, Ray Sandiford, the other bronze medalist, fought valiantly against Juan Donis Reyes but failed to pace himself and became tired very early in the bout. He managed to hold out but dropped the bout by a 16-2 verdict.
The boxers will be in the American Commonwealth until the award ceremony concludes before returning home.
Winners Connection 3 Vasco 0; Amelia’s Ward win by walk over from Eagles
Amelia’s Ward United advanced in the Netrockers/Amelia’s Ward United knockout competition without breaking a sweat as their intended opponents Eagles United failed to land at the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground when the completion kicked off on Friday night.
In the only game of the evening, Winners Connection connected to victory over Vasco by a 3-0 margin. They were led by a brace of goals from Colin Harvey, Rawle Gittens tucking in the other.
Harvey was on target in the 3rd and 57th minute while Gittens rocked the nets in the 16th minute. Vasco’s Michael Wilson missed a penalty for his side but they were outplayed by Winners.
Competition was expected to continue last evening at the same venue when Linden’s number one Milerock took on Peacemakers. West Demerara based Seawall FC, the guest team of the tournament matched skills with Blue Berry Hill United.
Another double header is fixed for this evening with Netrockers set to battle Winners Connection in the opening game, while feature action brings together Amelia’s Ward United and Bakewell Top XX. Semifinal play is set for Wednesday.
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