A press briefing was called yesterday at the Millennium Manor Hotel on Hadfield Street by boxer Clive Atwell and members of his team to update the media on preparations for his May 24 fight against Johnny Gonzalez of Mexico for his WBC Featherweight title in Acapulco, Mexico.
It was revealed that Boxing Promoter Seon Bristol has offered support in the form of taking care of aspects of Atwell’s stay in the United States as he trains prior to the fight, while Millennium Manor owner, Lance Bacchus made a donation to Atwell and renowned Guyanese boxer now trainer Lennox Blackmore, who was present, and Dillon Carew, will join Lennox Daniels in preparing Atwell for the final leg of his preparation for this fight.
President of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) Peter Abdool also informed that the fight, based on his understanding, would be staged in Acapulco which is just 98 feet above sea level, and not Mexico City, which is much higher, where it had originally been stated the fight would take place. This eliminates the altitude factor which has been a concern of many Guyanese fans. However, the training team is not leaving anything to chance and will ensure Atwell is prepared whether the fight is staged at altitude or not.
Atwell began the proceedings by touching on some misconceptions in the media as to how his management team handled negotiations for the fight. He explained that he being an underdog fighter in status to Gonzalez and the fight being a voluntary defence, his management could not negotiate beyond a certain point. He thanked the media for the publicity but noted that the light in which his management was cast could be deemed as not totally accurate. Atwell said it has affected their creditably and their power to effectively seek sponsorship for him.
The boxer stated that he has a good business relationship with his management, while admitting they may have disagreed over some issues in the past, the focus is for a common good, having him fully ready for the fight.
He informed that Bristol offered to assist and will be in charge of his encampment in the US. He will workout at the Gleason’s Gym in New York under Blackmore, Carew and Daniels.
Bristol said he was overwhelmed to be able to aid this talented fighter and the priority is the task ahead. He informed that after speaking with Atwell, his main concern was the time span they had available before the fight. However, he has done all in his power to ensure that Atwell is taken care of and can focus on the task ahead.
Bristol said that despite the underdog tag, once Atwell is adequately prepared he can win this fight.
GBBC President Abdool added his bit, stating that due to the fact that the fight is not being televised on Pay per view (PPV) with significant TV rights, is was difficult for the management to bargain for more. Abdool said he was grateful that the fight is taking place and he was confident in Atwell’s ability, noting that this is one fighter that is focused going into bouts and he will be no pushover.
He continued by stating, due to the fact he is a member of the World Boxing Council (WBC) board of directors, he has been urging them to afford more opportunities to Guyanese fighters. He also stated that Atwell is a product of the Friday Night fight programme and winning the title would be a major statement to the success of that programme initiated by the GBBC.
Veteran Lennox Blackmore was forthright in stating that he feels Atwell is mentally ready for this fight. He said he knows of Gonzalez and feels with a bit more sharpening Atwell will be fully ready for the contest. Blackmore said, with some sparring and conditioning work along with specific strategising, Atwell could prove more than enough for his Mexican opponent. He described Gonzalez as a strong fighter who comes at his opponents, and noted they will have Atwell ready to deal with this challenge.
Lennox Daniels, who has been preparing Atwell since his return home from Dominica for the bout, was a bit more cautious, stating that as of now, he feels the boxer is at 75% readiness, but noted that he will be fully ready for the contest with the additional work and the high level sparring scheduled at Gleason’s gym.
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