By Michael Benjamin
Sports personalities of every discipline are noted for certain characteristics that distinguish them among their peers. If one should conduct an interview with a cricketer over the outcome of a match or his plans for victory, that person will receive a well coined diplomatic response even if the bottom line may suggest a win for his team.
Boxers are the direct opposite; if one listens to the pre-fight comments of some boxers that person may simply be horrified at the language used by that pugilist as he outlines plans for his opponent’s destruction. One gets the impression that the two combatants have an old score to settle and since neither could be charged with murder or causing grievous bodily harm, they might have well take advantage. Sometimes the boxers are able to back his chat and metes out a severe licking to his counterpart just as promised in the pre-fight interview. There are other times that the boxer uttering the vile threats ends up on the canvass and is made to eat his words; it’s all part of the fistic sport.
CABOFE middleweight champion, Edmond DeClou was full of chat when he faced off with Dereck Richmond but at the end of their middleweight affair he ended up the worse for wear and nursing a broken jaw. James ‘Sack’ Walcott was the next to try his luck when he signed to fight Richmond early this year. He received similar treatment as his predecessor and was flattened in relatively short time.
Richmond’s successes earned him a place on the Guyana team to compete in the Wray and Nephew Contender series in Jamaica earlier this year. Naturally, he was a favourite to defeat eventual winner, Sakima Mullings but for a loss against Jamaican, Tsetsi Davis who in turn, went on to lose to Mullings.
The disappointment of losing to Davis reflected adversely on the tournament as a large section of supporters was anticipating an exciting Richmond/Mullings clash. Upon his return home Richmond had also voiced his disappointment that the bout failed to materialize.
The ‘Contender’ series is now history but the desire to face Mullings still rests in Richmond’s breast and after intense wheeling and dealing, officials of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) were successful in the two agreeing to a jnr/middleweight 8 rounds scrap on a card dubbed ‘Another Jamaican Invasion’ at the Banks DIH Sport club, Thirst Park, Saturday August 30 next.
Richmond has since opened camp at the Rosehall Jammers Boxing Gym in Berbice under the tutelage of Gregory Cort and from all indications is anxious to break a few more jaws. Kaieteur Sport spoke with him yesterday morning and he said that he is ready to take on the Jamaican powerhouse. “I was not in Jamaica when Mullings fought Eastman and Davis but I saw his bout with (Revlon) Lake and I know that I could take care of him,” said Richmond when asked of his chances of winning the bout.
Despite such confidence, Richmond would do well to remember that Eastman is a seasoned contender and Mullings had taken care of him in his own backyard. Of note also, is that Mullings had started the Contender series as a firm favourite and was under a lot of pressure to deliver the goods. His eventual victory speaks of his ability to hold his nerve under intense pressure. The bout, to my mind is evenly matched and even though Richmond is home and should be enjoying crowd advantage, one can never be sure what the mercurial Guyanese crowd will do next especially since Mullings has also attracted quite a following in Guyana.
Otherwise, boxing fans will be entertained with several other bouts and over the coming days Kaieteur Sport will endeavour to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the respective pugilists. Those bouts are Dexter ‘The Kid’ Marques up against Richard Williamson in a bantamweight 6 rounder while Jamaican, Kamal Russell and Guyanese Winston Pompey will clash in a 6 rounds middleweight bout. T&T based, Iwan Azore will also tangle with the dangerous, Dexter Gonsalves, over 8 rounds in a junior/welterweight fight.
It’s now lights, camera, and it two weeks time it will be action when the respective pugilists will just have to back their chat or taste canvass when the bell sounds at 20:00hrs sharp.
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