Clive Atwell spews fighting words in response to Gonsalves knockout threats
By Michael Benjamin
“I am ready for anything Dexter (Gonsalves) brings to the ring this weekend.” Those were fighting words and they were uttered by Clive Atwell when Kaieteur Sport engaged him in discussions pertaining to their imminent clash this weekend. He said that he is a more seasoned contender and Gonsalves will get a rude awakening on fight night.
The two fighters will clash in what the pundits have labeled ‘The Fight of the Century’ for the Fecarbox junior/welterweight title at the Giftland Office Max Mall, Liliendaal, ECD. Atwell returned to Guyana last Saturday night after spending the past month sharpening up at the world famed Gleasons Gym, Front Street, Brooklyn, New York.
Iwan Azore was to have been Gonsalves’ opponent and that fight was scheduled for last month end. However, Azore sustained an injury during training sessions and Atwell, who was in Dominica, merely keeping himself in shape with light exercises, instantly grabbed the opportunity when he was asked to fill the void.
Officials of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) wasted little time in putting the necessary modalities in place for the bout. Fresh from his remarkable victory over Jamaican Contender Champion, Sakima Mullings, Atwell only needed to intensify training activities and he opted for the New York based institution. While there, he was tutored by former Olympian, Dillon Carew and multiple champion, Leon ‘Hurry Up’ Moore. Yesterday afternoon, Atwell resumed sessions under the watchful eyes of his main coach, Lennox ‘Cappell’ Daniels and after assessing his condition and skills, even the uninitiated will admit that he is indeed ready for whatever Gonsalves brings to the ‘square jungle.’
Atwell is basically toning down after weeks of tough work and spent yesterday pounding away on the strike pads, held by Daniels. This particular tool facilitates proper coordination and accuracy even as it helps the boxer improve his speed. Atwell pieced together his combinations and remarkably achieved those goals.
He also spent the better part of thirty minutes working on his coordination and strength with a basketball which he bounced laterally against the concrete wall of the gym. He then closed off the day with a hectic session on the jump rope before wrapping up with light calisthenics and rigorous abdominal exercises. “I have done the bulk of work in New York and am home to finish the job,” Atwell pronounced in answer to a question. He said whereas the initial stages of his training were all about strategies and condition work, he is currently concentrating on speed, body and mind coordination and the maintenance of his fitness.
Atwell also said that his workout in New York was a bit tough because he was required to regroup after reducing his boxing activity in Dominica. “The acclimatization period was tough and you must remember that I had accepted a substitute fight at short notice,” he explained.
Atwell admitted that Gonsalves is smart and he (Atwell) will have to employ all the tricks in the book to overcome him. “I am prepared to do whatever it calls for to win this fight be it to box or brawl; I repeat, whatever Dexter brings to the table I will be ready for him,” Atwell reiterated.
Atwell said that he heard rumors that Gonsalves is a strong fighter but he (Atwell), is hardly perturbed. “Johnny (Gonsalves) is also a strong puncher and I managed to overcome that,” Atwell wryly replied with a hint of a smile on his lips. “I discovered myself in the (Johnny Gonsalves) bout because that’s when I realized that I could take a punch; I don’t believe that (Dexter) could pack such power,” he said.
During an earlier press conference, Gonsalves had blurted that he was going to knock out Atwell by round four.” Yesterday, Atwell scoffed at that remark and declared, “If that happens it will be the last time I enter the ring and I am already planning my next fight,” he declared matter of factly.
Less than a mile away, at the Forgotten Youth Foundation (FYF), also in Albouystown, Gonsalves was working out under the guidance of Sebert Blake and Joseph Murray. After a hectic session of shadow boxing, the rangy fighter turned his attention to the heavy punching bag and released much pent up venom. Gonsalves is not the chatty type but he came out of his shell at an earlier staged press conference to pronounce that Atwell will sleep in the 4th round. This statement cannot be taken lightly and Revlon Lake could attest to that. He had casually approached his bout with Gonsalves last year and paid the price after a crunching left hook dumped him on the canvass for the full count. Fans could expect the same level of application when Gonsalves enters the ring this weekend.
Anson Green was also at the FYF and sent a missive to his opponent, Quincy Gomes, “Walk with your pillow and bedding because I’m going to put you to sleep,” Those two will match gloves in a 6 rounds welterweight showdown. Keeve Allicock fights Terrence Adams in a 4 round jnr/welterweight bout and he was also at the FYF. “This will not go the full distance and I will be the winner,” he boasted when asked for a prediction. Imran Khan fights David Thomas over 4 rounds had already talked his talk and had attempted to frighten his opponent when they clashed in verbal warfare at the pre-fight press conference.
The amateur boxers segment opens the show and in this segment, popular Republican warrior, Nankumar Singh, will bare fists with Kellon King in a lightweight bout while Orin Bancroft tackles Travis Hubbard in the lightweight (youth) category. Glenroy Smith (EBG) will then square off with Republican Clifton Graham while Tefon Greene (GDF) will bring the curtains down on the amateur segment when he opposes Republican, Dexter Wray.
The dye is cast and with just 4 days left to showtime, fans are urged to secure their tickets early, those that have already bought tickets for the aborted card last month are assured that those instruments are still valid. Fans can also interact with the boxers this morning when they convene at the Merriman’s Mall for a tree planting exercise starting at 10:00hrs.
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