By Michael Benjamin
His ring date with Lennox ‘Pretty Boy’ Allen is merely eight days away but Kwesi ‘Lightening Struck Assassin Jones’ is bursting with confidence that when the smoke has cleared he would be the last man standing.
“The bout will not last twelve (rounds); the little boy will get so much pressure I doubt he will be able to withstand it.”
Jones was sending a missive to his nemesis and from all indications is well prepared to back his chat.
If the uninitiated should venture to pass by the Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis Boxing Gym (ALBG) around 16:00hrs during weekdays and 10:00hrs on Sundays, they may be greeted by a cacophony of noises that include grunts, groans and wheezing, giving the impression that someone is being tortured.
Upon closer inspection, however, you discover that while someone is indeed being tortured, it is self inflicted and a closer perusal confirms that the ‘tortured’ group are the boxers working assiduously to whip themselves into a respectable shape for ‘The Rampage,’ a special edition of the Proam boxing cards slated for Saturday May 28 and pit the skills of several of the best local boxers against each other for several prestigious titles.
Apart from the Allen/Jones encounter boxing fans can expect stiff leathers as Dexter Marques attempts to win the bantamweight CABOFE title against USA based Elton Dharry, while Kurt Bess and Mitchell Rogers would face off to settle an old grouse that has both fighters with a victory apiece after their two encounters. This fight is billed as the decider.
Skins glisten and sweat flies into the air as the various principals relentlessly pursue the goal of absolute fitness. Even as one remains impressed by such determined displays and even as one admits that the efforts of each pugilist are heartening, one cannot help but note the extra special input of Kwesi ‘Lightening Struck Assassin’ Jones as he pummels the heavy bag in preparation for what is undoubtedly the fight of his career against the ‘Pretty Boy.’
Added to bragging rights, the winner carts off the prestigious Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) super/middleweight title and has the added incentive of hovering on the perch of an imminent world title shot. With such a lucrative package in sight, Jones has vowed to dig very deep even if he bleeds and when one notes the intensity of his training regimen, the boast, or promise, depending on how one views Jones’ pronouncements, looms large.
Jones is no slouch; he has proven on several occasions that he has what it takes to challenge the best in his division. Ever since the ProAm cards were inaugurated he has appeared several times and his bouts were all crowd pleasers.
Of note also is that Jones would have slugged it out against the best available local talent and would have reached a highpoint after defeating Howard ‘Battersea Bomber’ Eastman in March last year. His subsequent victory against Leon ‘The Lion’ Gilkes has earned him the light/heavyweight title and Jones, now on a high, will attempt to defy the odds and take on Allen, this time for bigger stakes.
Managed by Colin Retimyer and trained by George ‘Kanchi’ Ophrect, Jones feels that he has what it takes to end Allen’s unbeaten streak and walk off with the spoils. That is why early in the morning starting at around 04:30hrs he gets up from the cozy comforts of his bed and heads out in front of John Fernandes office, Mandela Avenue where he commences his first workout for the day, a rigorous jog to Goed Fortuin WCD.
During the five miles journey Jones engages in speed walking, shadow boxing and sprints.
On his journey back to Georgetown the muscular Jones tests his body endurance by increasing the pace of his activities. “These are strengthening exercises and are very important since the fight is scheduled for twelve hard rounds and I will need all the strength I could muster if I am to prevail over Lennox,” he intimates. “I also pay great attention to honing my defensive ability while reminding myself that Lennox possesses acute attacking skills,” continues Jones. He said that the main focus of the long distance jogging is to improve his conditioning. “This is why I push my body to the limit.”
Three hours after commencing the morning workout, Jones heads home and spends the next four hours relaxing in anticipation of the afternoon sessions which gets underway at around 16:00hrs.
Of utmost importance is his food intake. “I am not yet in a position to employ the dieticians and other sophisticated staff but I listen to advice from persons in the know and attempt to consume foods that are beneficial to the enhancement of my health and well being,” he says. Jones said that he hardly consumes white bread but prefers biscuits and sometimes whole wheat toasted bread. He said that he monitors his body weight and when he opened camp two weeks ago his weight had hovered between 180-185lbs. The stipulated weight limit is 168lbs. “At present I am at a comfortable 170lbs and expect to shed the 2 pounds at least one week before weigh in.
Jones admits that Allen is a stern test but said that he (Jones) has studied his opponent and has discovered his Achilles heel. “I know that Lennox fights out of a south paw style; I also know that he likes it when he is attacked,” Jones pronounced matter of factly. He further said that he understands that he has to be wary of Allen’s his right jab and left cross. “I plan to slip and counter so I am working hard to be at my best condition,” he explains.
Jones further asserts that he has always been hungry and remains that way for the Alleyne fight. “I consider myself as number one in my division but I also understand that I could only make this claim after I beat the best and Allen is considered by many to be the best so until I defeat him I will refrain from claiming to be the best,” said Jones.
He said that Allen cannot take a punch and this was very evident when he fought Winston Pompey. “Pompey is a strong puncher and had Allen on the back foot,” said Jones. Nevertheless, Allen had overcome those deficiencies and scored a points decision over Pompey.
“Yes, and that was because Pompey literally ran behind him while circling to the left when he should have allowed Allen to do the attacking while he (Pompey) circled to the right,” explained Jones.
He said he has no intention of making those mistakes. “I intend to mix up my movements; be an elusive target and Alleyne will have to work for every punch he scores,” reiterated Jones.
In the past, the boxers had mouthed off only to enter the ring and turn in limp performances. Jones remains adamant that he will not fall into this category, “This is all about my career; Lennox is a very good friend but on that night, for twelve rounds or up to when he decides to quit, we will put aside all friendship. Lennox has better come ready for a real rampage,” concluded Jones.
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