Perspiration drenched his face and dripped from his vest as Dexter Gonsalves pounded away on the strike pads, held by his Coach, Sebert Blake, at the Forgotten Youth Foundation (FYF) Boxing Gym Wednesday afternoon last, in preparation for his 8 rounds Jnr./Welterweight non-title Welterweight bout against Trinidad based, Iwan Azore slated for the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH), Saturday September 13 next.
Moments after wrapping up sessions, Gonsalves was informed that Azore has suffered an injury and the fight would have to be aborted. That was indeed bad news but the good news is that Mark Austin, though not initially a part of the card, has been resolutely training at the Andrew ‘Sixheads’ Lewis Boxing Gym; he has since jumped at the chance to fill the breach.
Now, instead of bemoaning their ill luck, the promoters are preening in their luck as this fight offers a much better proposition. Austin is no slouch and started his professional career in June 2010 with a convincing points decision win over Cecil Smith.
His winning streak continued up to his fourth fight when he held world contender, Clive Atwell to a draw. He also defeated Barbados based pugilist, Revlon Lake, in June 2011 and looked set for big things until his career reached a snag with a series of losses, one of them, a devastating knockout in a return bout with Lake.
Losses to Barbadian, Miguel Antoine and Jamaican Devon Moncrieffe did not help his cause and the Guyanese pugilist took a self imposed sabbatical. He has since returned to the gym, under the watchful eyes of George ‘Canchi’ Oprecht and has already adjusted his schedule to accommodate the Gonsalves bout.
On the other hand, Gonsalves, is a dangerous fighter and his wiry frame camouflages his destructive punching ability. Lake has had a taste of his crunching power and folded in the 7th round when the two faced off for the local Lightweight belt in July last year.
Gonsalves has been eager to continue his career but no one wanted any part of him. Now that Austin has accepted the challenge, Gonsalves will be required to reorganize his psyche for a boxer/fighter in Austin as against the brawler in Azore. This is a bout of contrasts and should be interesting to watch.
In fact, fans will be treated to 28 rounds of fistic fury with the main bout between Dereck Richmond and Jamaican Welterweight Contender champion, Sakima Mullings promising to be exciting and action packed.
The two were billed to clash at the just concluded Contender Series in Jamaica but this was not to be as Richmond suffered a loss to Tsetsie Davis and that fight fizzed out. But Richmond had proven his worth with a convincing 3rd round knockout of Romeo Norville and a drawn decision against Syrian fighter, Mahmoud Loul .
Noted for devastating punching power that sent CABOFE Middleweight king, Edmond Declou to the hospital with a broken jaw and a similar punch that flattened James Walcott in the 4th round, Richmond should not be underrated and the fact that he will be enjoying home advantage could just work in his favour. He is currently the local Middleweight champion and is conducting training sessions in Berbice at the Rosehall Jammers Boxing Gym.
The local champion conducts sparring sessions with Kelsie George and Teashawn Simon and yesterday afternoon he reaffirmed an earlier boast that he will take care of Mullings. Conversely, Mullings is a classy boxer and has defeated Howard Eastman at the Princes Hotel in March 2013.
Indeed, he has won a large following in Guyana and would feel somewhat comfortable entering the local ring. He has also stopped local pugilist, Winston Pompey and has compiled 16 wins, lost once and knocked out 11 of his opponents.
The muscular Jamaican has also avenged the loss to his countryman, Rikardo Smith and is now the king of welterweights in Jamaica. With a 64.71% knockout ratio, he would fancy his chances against Richmond but one suspects that the Guyanese will test him to the hilt and fans would not want to miss the action.
Another ‘Contender’ fighter, Jamaican, Russell Kamal, will lace up his gloves against Guyanese Winston Pompey in a 6 rounds middleweight affair and Kamal, who has earned a TKO decision over Romeo Norville when he made his inaugural visit to Guyana, would want to continue in that vein.
Pompey has had a training stint in Suriname and has said that he is an improved fighter. We will only have to wait to see the proof of the pie. Otherwise, Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) Bantamweight champion, Dexter Marques and Richard Williamson will square off for the second time in a year in a Bantamweight six rounder.
Williamson, who lost the first fight, will be looking to turn the tables around. Indeed, fans could expect a classy affair as was witnessed in the first fight. Both boxers have said that they will be in top condition for their second meeting.
Leon ‘Hurry Up’ Moore has also been away from the local scene for a prolonged period and he returns against Mark Murray in a 6 rounds catchweight affair. The clock is tolling away the seconds to fight night and the boxers will have to put up or shut up.
Irrespective of which way the decisions go, local boxing pundits could be assured of a night of fistic fury. Bell time is 20:00hrs and price of admission for stands is $1000 while ringside seats are going at $2000.
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