May 30, 2015 Sports
After enduring several anxious weeks of uncertainty due to inadequate funding, four local boxers eventually departed Guyana yesterday to participate in the Pan American Boxing trials slated for Tijuana Mexico
from June 4th- 9th next. The boxers are all hyped up and are confident of qualifying for the important Pan American games scheduled for Toronto Ontario, Canada in July.
Several members of corporate Guyana had initially pledged support but even then the trip remained uncertain as the traveling cost was prohibitive and much more assistance was needed. The trip only became a reality after administrators of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) sought and received added help from the Minister with responsibility for sports, Rupert Roopnarine.
Towards this end, the initial team of pugilists departed yesterday afternoon along with recently promoted Level One coach, Sebert Blake, accompanying them as the manager/coach. His assistant, Cuban coach, Francisco Hernandez Roldan, did not travel yesterday due to a delay in acquiring his airline ticket. Those details have since been attended to and he will depart Guyana this morning.
Those selected for national duties are Dennis Thomas (75kgs), Delon Charles (56kgs), Dewani Lampkin (60kgs) and Jason Phillips (64kgs). United States based superheavyweight pugilist, Quincy ‘Biggy’ Small has also been selected and will join his colleagues in Mexico during the coming week.
President of the GBA, Steve Ninvalle, visited the boxers before they departed Georgetown and conveyed his best wishes. He urged the boxers to be disciplined while pointing out the importance of qualifying. “You are ambassadors of Guyana and your decorum should reflect this,” he said.
The team was encamped at the Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis boxing gym under the tutelage of the accompanying coaches and were also taken through their paces at the National Park at 05:00hrs each day.
The Cuban coach is pleased with the boxers’ fitness level and was also in high praise of their work ethic. He is confident that they will attain top physical fitness in time for the start of the tournament.
Mr. Blake is also optimistic and said that the team has worked exceedingly hard over the preceding weeks. He said that the boxers are applying themselves diligently to their tasks and he is very optimistic that they will do well at the qualifiers.
Blake said that he is pleased that the boxers will be given enough time to acclimatize. He has been in Mexico, having accompanied Shondell Alfred in her aborted bid to defend her WIBA bantamweight belt and is fully aware of the challenges the boxers will encounter.
The team will stop over in Panama before their onward journey to Mexico and should be at their final destination later today.
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