By Michael Benjamin
The organizers have promised heightened action and the large crowd that turned out
at the M&CC Municipal Centre, California Square, East Ruimveldt, were not disappointed as the nation’s top amateur boxers fitted the bill when the curtains went up on the National Open Boxing Championships at that venue last Friday evening.
There were many slugfests but surprisingly, despite the savage exchanges, there was merely one abbreviated encounter; the 64kgs bout between Glenroy Smith (Essq) and Linden Daniels (GDF). The former pugilist rushed out at the sound of the bell and dealt his opponent several clouts that had him covering up to stem the tide. After an especially wicked blow had landed on Daniels’ temple, the referee jumped in and administered the mandatory 8 count which in the end proved to be useless since Daniels had long decided that he had had enough and shook his head when asked if he wished to continue. The time was just 30 seconds into the bout.
Shaquancy Wright (Essq) is a hard working youngster and always gives of his best. Last Friday evening was no exception as the pint sized youth from the Essequibo Boxing Gym displayed remarkable work ethic to defeat his gym mate, Deron Williams in the 65-69lbs category. Leon Moore (HE) was a replica of his dad, Leon ‘Hurry Up’ Moore, and proved to be too good for his gym mate, Jakeel Cadogan, taking their 65-69lbs bout by a majority verdict, while his older sibling, Isaiah (HE), followed his brother’s lead with a convincing majority decision over his gym mate Kevon Mulling in the 80-84lbs class.
Shaquiel Wright (Essq) unleashed a two fisted attack on Keevin Allicock (HE) and was aptly rewarded with a majority verdict in their 100-104lbs bout moments before Stevie Deprado (Essq) was gifted a walkover after his gym mate, Christopher Moore, was a no show for their 110-114lbs bout. Stefan Smith then carved out a points decision victory over Essequibo Boxing Gym pugilist, Akiel Mounter in the 147-154lbs division. All of these bouts were in the Junior Category and the respective winners have been crowned champions of their divisions.
The senior boxers were also part of the action and Republican pugilist, Nankumar Singh, seemed unaffected by his long layoff from the ring when he defeated Rupert Gillis (GDF) in the 60kgs division shindig. Both pugilists went after each other from the first gong but it was Singh who took control of the round and after he had dealt Gillis several clouts, the soldier hung on while emitting deep gasps. Gillis reasserted himself in the second round and matched his opponent’s grit and aggression and the two entertained the receptive crowd for the entire stanza.
The difference in condition became apparent in the third round when Nankumar applied the pressure with a sustained two fisted attack that had Gillis tossing around the ring. The Republican pugilist was eventually adjudged the unanimous winner.
The competition in the 64kgs division is indeed inspiring and it seems as though those boxers will be required to really dig deep to claim championship honours. There were three bouts in this category and in the first, Keeve Allicock (HE), outlasted Enock John (GDF) in a crowd pleasing affair. Allicock, clearly the superior boxer, was guilty of showboating and received a caution from the referee. He reasserted himself, re-entered the fray and employed a two fisted strategy to comfortably take the round.
John came out swinging in the second stanza and landed a fortuitous punch on Allicock’s temple that floored him and forced the referee to institute the mandatory 8 count. Allicock then resorted to holding to stem the tide and the referee duly deducted two points from his score after a similar number of infringements.
Undaunted, Allicock entered the final round with blazing fists and avenged the previous deductions when he floored his man early in the final stanza. The two then engaged in a toe to toe slugfest up to the bell much to the delight of the screaming audience. Despite the loss of the two points in the second round, the judges felt that Allicock had done enough to be awarded a majority decision.
In the second bout in the 64kgs category, Ron Smith (FYF) eked out a split decision verdict from Clifton Graham (Rep) in what was a relatively easy fight for the former pugilist and he has set up an interesting affair with Glenroy Smith, the only man to score a knockout on the inaugural night.
The action continued last evening and there were whispers that the highly anticipated clash between United States based super/heavyweight pugilist, Quincy ‘Biggy’ Small and Republican boxer, Jason ‘AK’ Barker would have comprised a part of the activities.
Pugilists from the nation’s top gyms are on show including those from Young Achievers, Harpy Eagles, Forgotten Youth Foundation, Essequibo, Rose Hall Town Jammers, Pocket Rocket Boxing Gym and Carryll’s Boxing Gym among others. There are 10 divisions in the elite category and these pugilists will now box devoid of the protective headgear in conformation to the revised rules of the International Amateur Boxing Association (IABA). The other categories would be exempted from this rule and will wear the protective gear. The elite boxers also received special permission to use Cavelin Cream, a product that reduces the risks of cuts and bruises.
Several corporate entities have rendered support for the success of the tournament including the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Monty Profitt, Courts, B K International and Mike’s Pharmacy among others. Tonight is the finals and the action gets underway at 20:00hrs sharp. Admission remains at $400 and $200 for adults and children respectively.
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