Nov 28, 2015 Sports
By Michael Benjamin
An excellent display of aggression and counterpunching skills earned Guyanese boxers 4 wins out of their 5 bouts when the local pugilists started their trek for championship honours as action in the ‘Back to the Future’ Development Boxing Tournament got underway at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) last Thursday evening.
Jamal Eastman opened Guyana’s account with a commanding display that earned him a technical knockout victory over Grenadian, Neilon Cyrus in the 52-56kgs division of the Youth category. Eastman, a Berbician that has shown great promise in earlier bouts in the run up to the tournament, signaled his intention from the very first gong when he rushed out and dealt his man a clubbing blow to his temple. Thereafter, Cyrus, in an attempt to evade several similar blows, ducked below the belt and the referee warned him twice. Eastman then bulldozed his man with several jolting shots and the referee intervened with a mandatory 8 count.
Eastman applied the pressure upon resumption and a right cross connected to Cyrus’ head that forced the referee to once again count the Grenadian and subsequently wave the bout off at 2:11secs of the first round after determining that he (Cyrus) was unable to continue.
Eastman’s win set the pace but it was not totally a walk in the park for the local punchers as middleweight pugilist, Dennis Thomas, found out. He had to call on his reserves to win his bout against Arthur Langilier after the St Lucian stood his ground for the first two rounds and then rocked him with a vicious right cross in the 3rd round that dumped him on the canvass for the referee to institute the mandatory 8 count.
Thomas had controlled the preceding rounds and one round earlier had forced the referee to institute a mandatory 8 count after he had unleashed several head and body shots that sent Langilier reeling into the ropes. After the knockdown, Thomas rose, more surprised than hurt, and launched a well-constructed attack that included wicked body and head shots. The St Lucian refused to say die and matched his opponent’s blows but by then Thomas was in full flow and resorted to his vast experience to control the bout with well-placed combinations.
Thomas rocked his man with pin-point right crosses and a few body shots for good measure that pushed Langilier on the back foot in an attempt to ward off the onslaught in the final stanza. The two pugilists were engaged in a delightful exchange that excited the small audience and when the bell sounded, a confident Thomas prematurely raised his hands in anticipation of the victory. Two minutes later, the judges concurred.
Diwani Lampkin was also in winners’ row, clinching a unanimous verdict over Nathan Ferreri (St Lucia) in their Youth light/welterweight encounter. Blessed with far more talent than he portrayed on fight night, Lampkin failed to assertively stamp his authority and despite clinching the victory, will have to sharpen up in a few departments if he is to come out on top of the heap. He was eventually awarded the bout unanimously.
Local Elite Open lightweight boxer, Joel Williamson, proved too good for his T&T opponent, Christopher DeFreitas and boxed his way to a unanimous verdict, but Clifton Graham broke the sequence for the locals when he allowed Jamaican, Nico Yeyo to control the pace of their welterweight Elite Open bout to take a unanimous verdict.
In the elite open light/welterweight division Jean Paul Cooper (T&T) boxed his way to a unanimous decision over Tyrone Oliver (Bahamas), while the first of two welterweight bouts between St Lucian, Lyndell Marcellin and Jamal Edmond (Barbados) saw the former pugilist pounding out a unanimous verdict over the latter. Hendrix Farlot (Cayenne) won unanimously over Charles Leatham (Dominica), also in the welterweight division while in the light/heavyweight division, Yakita Aska of Antigua and Barbuda failed to get past Marvin Anthony (St Lucia). Trinidad and Tobago’s Brendon Dennis and D’Angelo Swaby (Bahamas) battled in the heavyweight category and the latter pugilist prevailed on points.
There were three semi-final matchups; in the welterweight division (Youth 17-18), Renaldo Steward (T&T) outboxed Kemrod Moses (Grenada), while Ision Fraser (Barbados) proved too good for Tahj Browne (St Lucia).
Jamaican lightweight boxer, Ricardo Carter turned in a spirited performance to prevail over Barbadian, Ezra Lord, in their Elite Open lightweight affair.
Meanwhile, activities got underway when boxers, managers and trainers from 13 teams, all colorfully dressed, paraded before Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry and other officials where the Minister delivered the keynote address. She welcomed the delegates while thanking them for accepting the invitation to participate in the tournament. She noted that it was the first such tournament staged in decades even as she lauded the organizers for their efforts.
The Minister also quoted the words of the late freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, “Sports have the power to change the world,” even as she encouraged the participants to initiate requisite changes.
Ms. Henry further pointed out that government was keen on providing opportunities for local sports stalwarts and has sports into the education sector to support this ideal. She said that she has learnt that many of the (participating) boxers are in school and this is indeed commendable.
The Minister also highlighted the successes of former pugilists in their quest to bring glory to Guyana. “Boxing is a sport with a proud history and tradition and I note the achievements (of past pugilists) which includes numerous world titles and a (lone) bronze medal at the Olympics,” said Ms. Henry. The Minister also had special words for members of the corporate community and other individuals and groups that had contributed to the success of the tournament, “Your efforts have been noted and I must extend sincere gratitude to you all for this tournament could not have been held devoid of your input,” pronounced Ms. Henry. She further pledged Government’s support for this and other similar ventures. “On behalf of my Government, I wish you all the best and may your determination surpass your expectations,” proclaimed the Minister, moments before declaring the games open.
President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Steve Ninvalle, also welcomed the visiting teams and urged them to conform to the mantra of the Caribbean boxing community, “One voice, One Goal, One Caribbean”. He said that the tournament is not only about winning and losing fights but more importantly to unify the Caribbean nations in harmony. “It has been a long, arduous journey and if we stay on course there is much that we could achieve,” exhorted Mr. Ninvalle.
He lauded the efforts of the other boxing Presidents in the region and said that though each country is aspiring for the championship crown, each must end the tournament feeling that they had won.
Chairperson of the Caribbean (Boxing) Steering Committee, Barbadian, Kathy Harper Hall, admitted that the disbandment of the Caribbean Amateur Boxing Association had left the sport in dire straits. She further pointed out that the aim of the various heads of Associations is to concentrate heavily on the youths so as to strengthen the Caribbean force for the future. Ms. Harper Hall closed with the familiar caveat, “It is not whether you win or lose but how you play the game that matters.”
Commendable words were also uttered by President of the Guyana Olympics Association, K. A. Juman Yassin. He said that he was delighted to see the large contingents that graced the tournament even as he anticipated a resurgence of the sport. Mr. Yassin further beseeched the boxers to resist the temptation of dabbling in drugs since such activities could spell doom for their careers and heap embarrassment on them and their countries.
Director of Sports, Christopher Jones feels that boxing remains the beacon discipline since the others are still to emulate its feats. He urged the boxers and administrators to continue agitating for the coveted Olympic medal even as he voiced the thought that boxers participating in the 2016 will break the jinx. Activities continued last night and resumes tonight with the finals slated for tomorrow night.
Jan 27, 2022Kaieteur News – Thirty-three year-old former Essequibo fast bowling all-rounder Ryan Hercules will be the Assistant Coach for the newly renamed Guyana Harpy Eagles team travels to Trinidad for...
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Rejecting the accusations of bullying and despotism that were levelled at Mia... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]