By Michael Benjamin
If boxing buffs are to take Edmond Declou and Kwesi ‘Lightening Struck Assasin’ Jones seriously, then they could be assured of an early night tonight when the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) stages the 24th edition of the Friday Night Fights at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall this evening.
Both pugilists have predicted early knockouts when they square off with their respective opponents tonight. Declou will put his local middleweight title on the line against Joel McRae while Kwesi Jones opposes Berbician, Kelsie George in a six-round middleweight affair.
The boxers convened in the studios of the National Communications Networks yesterday afternoon and if one is to take Declou seriously, this will be the last card in which his opponent, Joel McRae, will appear.
Noted more for his superb skills, Declou uncharacteristically promised to end McRae’s career when the two pugilists square off tonight.
Indeed, Declou may feel justified in making such boasts since he has chalked up two victories over McRae in earlier fights.
However, the Lindener is noted more for his skillful applications rather than his power punching, and his bold proclamations have prompted much speculation regarding his preparations.
Declou has shifted camp from the Young Lion’s Gym in Linden and has been working out at the Andrew “Sixheads’ Lewis Boxing Gym, Independence Boulevard, Albouystown.
He has benefitted immensely and has the Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) middleweight crown added to the local version to prove that he has benefitted from the switch.
McRae flew into Guyana yesterday morning and shortly afterwards sounded his intentions to reverse the fortunes of his two previous bouts with Declou.
He said that shortly after their last encounter, he had flown to Trinidad and Tobago for a bout against Columbian, Elias Reid.
He said he won that bout by decision and had stayed in the gym in anticipation of tonight’s fight.
McRae said that he trains at the National Boxing Centre in the mornings under the tutelage of Hassan Patterson, who tutors him in the technical aspect of the sport.
He said that he switches to the Torokan Gym in St James in the mornings where another coach, Adam Chinlumg works on the development of his strength and power. McRae said that he has trained for over three hundred rounds including sparring sessions, bag work and sessions on the speed bag. He has also skipped for hours to fine tune his timings. “I am well prepared for this bout and cannot imagine losing for a third time,” he proclaimed. When Declou hurled the remark that threatened to retire him after this bout McRae retorted, “he’s like GT&T, free credit, free talk.”
The Trinidad based pugilist boasts a record of 9 victories, two losses and one draw. He said that at the end of tonight’s fight he will improve to 10 victories.
Declou does not share those views and has brashly promised to once again add his nemesis’ scalp to his bulging collection. His two losses came at the hands of Kwesi ‘Lightening Struck Assasin’ Jones but he may feel comforted that he had avenged one of them with his sterling achievement of clinching the two other accolades he now holds.
After winning the CABOFE crown he has set up a series of lucrative fights in the impending World Boxing Council (WBC) 50th anniversary tournament. He could jeopardize his chances should he lose tonight which could serve as inspiration for a victory.
Rudolph Fraser and Clive Atwell will also be out to prove a point. The night’s opening encounter will see debutant, Gladwin Dorway matching skills against David Thomas, now engaged in his second professional fight.
Tonight’s action gets underway at 8pm and patrons are assured that the prices of $1000 and $500 for adults and children respectively, remain the same. The action will be broadcasted for later viewing on the National Communications Network (NCN).
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