To be answered tonight as ‘Lightening Struck Assassin’ attempts to silence ‘Battersea Bomber’
By Michael Benjamin
When Kwesi ‘Lightening Struck Assassin’ Jones enters the ring against Howard ‘Battersea Bomber’ Eastman tonight in the 13th edition of the ProAm boxing cards, the former pugilist would obviously feel that he has the psychological edge over the latter after he had defeated him in the 8th edition of the card.
Eastman, on the other hand, will be bristle from the defeat and obviously would be out to reverse the decision in the most decisive of manner. Can he accomplish the feat? Will Jones replicate the earlier decision?
These questions and lots more would obviously bombard the minds of boxing buffs, especially the betting boys, and would most likely create the atmosphere for the impending showpiece when the two pugilists face off tonight for the local light/heavyweight title belt and bragging rights. Eastman would have an added reason for wanting to win the bout—sweet revenge.
Boxers have been known to affix intimidating sobriquets to their names and the pundits view this ploy as effective. We’ve witnessed it before—‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, John ‘The Beast’ Mugabe, Bernard ‘Executioner’ Hopkins and the list goes on.
When Jones first entered the professional arena he chose the sobriquet ‘Mommy Nice Boy.’ In a sport of brutal encounters, such a name certainly did not cut it. “My mother had suggested that sobriquet for me,” he had intimated then. The subsequent bout against Edmond DeClou ended with Jones surrendering a lopsided decision. Naturally, the lanky pugilist blamed the loss on the disparaging sobriquet. Disgusted with himself for having accepted the label, Jones ripped it from his ‘gears,’ replacing it with the more intimidating ‘Lightening Struck Assassin.’
The ploy seemed to have worked wonders as Jones went on to chalk up several victories on the trot; his only loss to date being the ‘jinxed’ DeClou shindig. The rangy Jones has not only avenged the loss to DeClou but has chalked up several other victories on the trot among them, a lopsided 4 rounds verdict over the very man he opposes tonight. More importantly, he comes into the Eastman bout tonight armed with his ‘lucky’ sobriquet. Will it be enough to replicate his earlier feat?
Eastman is a mean fighter who has proven his worth against such renowned world beaters as William Joppy and Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins. Even before those world title attempts, Eastman would have distinguished himself as a worthwhile warrior among some of the best European fighters. His return to the local arena a few years ago was marked by victories over former World Boxing Association (WBA) king, Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis, local rough house, ‘Dangerous’ Denny Dalton and Leon ‘The Lion’ Gilkes among others. As a matter of fact, ‘The Battersea Bomber’ had retained an unbeaten record since his return to the local arena and it was Jones that had rudely disrupted the sequence.
All of Eastman’s bouts have been characterized by his late salvoes, lending credence to the pundits’ belief that as the fight progresses, the stronger he gets. It is this trait that he will bank on to take the honours tonight.
Eastman also enters the ring with an intimidating sobriquet, garnered from his fighting days around the Battersea area in the United Kingdom. Bombers are destructive machines that ply the sky during wartime, forcefully eliminating the enemy. Tonight, ‘The Battersea Bomber’ would aspire to carry on the noble tradition.
In actual fact fans will be witnessing the battle of two elements, Lightening, as in the case of Jones, and a Bomber, as in Eastman’s case. Jones has proven that he fights better under intimidating sobriquets. Eastman has fought among the top guns and blown them away. He failed to replicate those feats against Jones last year. Back then, it was a four rounds affair with no added perks; tonight it’s twelve hard rounds with the light/heavyweight belt thrown in for good measure. Will the Lightening Strike again tonight or will the Battersea Bomber blow his nemesis to pieces? The unfolding battle of the elements will obviously produce a heads on confrontation with the winner being the pugilist with the heavier artillery. Fans will want to come to the venue appropriately clad for the fireworks.
Veronica Blackman refuses to attach a sobriquet to her name and so too does Sharon Ward. Nevertheless, the two have proven their worth in the ‘square jungle’ in previous bouts and fans need not be cajoled to witness the impending war. Blackman dropped a lopsided unanimous verdict in a ten rounds scrap against Gwendolyn ‘Stealth Bomber’ O’Neil when they met in June last year in the under-card of the Briso Promotions multiple title fight at the Princess Hotel, Providence EBD. She also lost out to Mandessa Moses in last month’s edition of the ProAm cards. However, Blackman started the year on a winning note, defeating the highly touted Pauline London. She has clearly stated that she has no intention of suffering back to back losses.
The situation may not be that simple since Ward has been involved in quite a few ‘war-fares’. She too had lost to Moses in August last year and her appeal for a return would obviously hinge on her performance tonight.
With such aspirations before her, one could envisage Ward digging deep for this fight. Whether she comes up with a win against Blackman who seems just as determined will be known tonight when the gong sounds.
Cassius Matthews last entered the ring in August 2005 in a drawn lightweight bout against Vincent Howard at the Mackenzie Sports Club, Linden. He will attempt to revive his career with a bout against Simeon ‘Candyman’ Hardy, known for his historic 20 seconds defeat of Patrick Boston. Since then, Hardy had been experiencing difficulties procuring opponents. In last month’s ProAm, Mark Murray had gathered enough nerve to sign the contract. Unfortunately, that was as far as his courage went. He apparently rethought his decision and experienced cold feet, refusing to turn up on fight night. Matthews is not one to back down from a good fight but one wonders if he has not bitten off a little more than he can chew. Further, ring rust could definitely be a decisive variable in the outcome of his bout. The lanky Matthews who fights out of a southpaw style will obviously depend on this variable and would enjoy an advantage of being the more experienced fighter but the question is, “Is that enough to stop the rampaging, enthusiastic Hardy. Stranger things have been known to happen in the fistic sport and Matthews may just be able to pull the proverbial ‘rabbit out of the hat.’ It is this aspect of the bout that makes it interesting.
Otherwise the final professional bout between DeClou and Brown promises much action especially since both fighters are rangy and have sealed their names among the top local contenders. This is a tough one to call but with the former fighter coming off a tough drawn decision against Winston Pompey and eager to be reinstated into his fans’ eyes, Brown may very well discover that winning is not as simple as it appears.
Throw in the amateur segment that features the likes of the exciting warrior, Nankumar Singh, Theresa London and Carol Ann Bess and fans are assured of a night of pure fury. Bell time tonight is 20:00hrs and admission remains at $1,000. Children under twelve years old pay half that amount while those unable to be at the CASH may tune in to NCN television for a blow by blow account of the proceedings.
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