By Michael Benjamin
Kwesi Jones ‘Lightening Struck Assassin’ Jones defied a weight disadvantage of more than 52 pounds after accepting a substitute bout against Anthony Augustin and dished out a first class licking over his man when action in the July edition of the monthly ProAm boxing cards concluded at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) Friday evening last.
If Jones was ‘Lightening’ then DeClou had to be ‘Thunder’ as shortly afterwards, he landed some thunderous wallops on Joel ‘Majestic’ McRae’s body and head to eventually earn a lopsided unanimous verdict thus endorsing his earlier boast of being the better of the two.
Barbadian, Miguel Antoine continued to enjoy immense benefits from his participation in the programme when he overcame Cassius Matthews to decisively win their 4 rounds welterweight encounter.
Orland ‘Pocket Rocket’ Rogers was also in winners’ row, capturing a unanimous verdict from his Barbadian based countryman, Selwyn Lett.
Augustin was supposed to have fought Julian Taniff but the Barbadian failed to show up and Leon ‘The Lion’ Gilkes was once again called into substitution duties. However, moments before he was required to take the ring, ‘The Lion’ re-thought his decision and opted out of the bout. Kwesi Jones courageously accepted the challenge at the eleventh hour and got off to a decisive start after he tagged Augustin with a vicious straight right that buckled his knees. Augustin quickly reasserted himself and came back strongly with several telling salvoes but despite managing to close the gap, surrendered the round.
Jones seemed to have grown in confidence in the second stanza and threw caution to the wind, firing away at Augustin’s body and head. The latter fighter attempted to bully the former but found an elusive target as Jones kept his distance, squirming and punching.
The two fighters then became locked in close combat resulting in a clash of heads that forced the referee to seek the intervention of the doctor to examine a small wound on Augustin’s forehead. Upon resumption, Jones applied the pressure and had his heavier, better prepared opponent on the back foot; finishing the contest as he had started it —aggressively. The unanimous decision ruled by the judges was a mere formality.
McRae started the bout like a man on a mission, pushing DeClou backwards with several ramrod shots. The rangy pugilist from the Mining Town used the first stanza to work up a good rhythm and retaliated in the second stanza, scoring at will to McRae’s body and head. Both fighters then enjoyed moments of glory in the third round as first one and then the other registered clean, solid shots. DeClou then resumed command, bouncing in and out while
unleashing an occasional bomb. When the bell sounded to end that round he was pummeling McRae in the red corner.
With five rounds to the end, both fighters appeared spent but McRae appeared the worst for wear. He attempted to bully DeClou but the Lindener turned back the challenge, registering several stiff offerings that forced a game but clearly frustrated and tired McRae into his shell.
Round seven clearly belonged to DeClou as he employed every strategy, every punch, to keep McRae at bay. A determined McRae then shifted the arc in his favour with several punches but instead of recoiling, DeClou retaliated with several vicious shots that pushed McRae on his back foot.
The penultimate round was no different from the preceding ones as DeClou cleverly danced and punched his way into the judges heart while a clearly beaten McRae swung viciously but only succeeded in landing in midair even as DeClou refused to dismount his bicycle.
The final round proved to be a continuation of the onslaught only this time most of DeClou’s punches went unanswered.
When the bell sounded McRae walked over to his opponent’s corner and meekly extended congrats, a sure sign that he anticipated a loss. All three judges concurred. Francis Abraham saw it 99-91 the same as Clairmonte DeSouza, while Andrew Thorne had DeClou ahead 98-92.
Antoine tried to bully Cassius Matthews in the very early stages of their welterweight scrap but the latter fighter would have none of it, keeping the Bajan at bay with some tame jabs. Undaunted Antoine persevered and connected with several punches to Matthews’ body and head.
The lanky Guyanese from Linden never give the impression that he wanted to win but merely survive the Bajan’s assault. He spent most of the night on the back foot nullifying the Barbadian’s attacks. An accidental clash of heads in the second frame shortly after the boxers entered into a clinch caused some worry in Antoine’s corner but in the end proved to be a storm in a teacup as the Bajan defied the blow and went on to take a comfortable unanimous verdict.
Apparently realizing that his career was on the line should he suffer another loss, Orland ‘Pocket Rocket’ Rogers used the first round attempting to bully Selwyn Lett but the latter fighter stood his ground and dished out some salvoes of his own. However, they were not enough and Rogers clearly took the first round.
The pattern continued with Rogers dominating the fight but not able to assume total command of the proceedings. The action picked up slightly in the third stanza with Lett showing some aggression.
During that round he managed to tag the shorter Rogers with a wicked right cross shortly before the bell sounded. The final round was nothing to shout about as both boxers failed to employ any constructive strategy choosing to swing away at each other. Rogers was later adjudged winner by a unanimous decision.
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