Dec 18, 2015 Sports
At just around 13:00hrs tomorrow afternoon, boxers, managers, promoters and other affiliates of the
sport, will join officials of the National Sports Commission, and other sports officials, to pay homage to Guyanese boxing stalwarts that have distinguished themselves in the sport.
The occasion is the launching of Guyana’s first Boxing Hall of Fame at the Andrew ‘Sixheads’ Lewis Boxing Gym (ALBG), Callender Street and Independence Boulevard, in a ceremony that promises glitz and glamour.
President of the Guyana Olympics Association, K A Juman Yassin and Mayor Hamilton Green, are also expected to grace the function with their presence. Further, the launce will coincide with the Demerara Distillers Ltd U-16 boxing tournament that will see the Simon Pures battling it out for top honours.
Several of Guyana’s outstanding boxers have been honoured in the first phase including such stalwarts as Guyana’ first world champion, Andrew Lewis, Wayne ‘Big Truck’ Braithwaite, Gary StClair, Vivian Harris and Guyana’s lone Olympics bronze medalist, Michael Parris among others. The three female world champions, Gwendolyn ‘Stealth Bomber’ O’Neil, Shondel ‘Mystery Lady’ Alfred and Pamela London, have all been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Former Continental of Guyana and local welterweight and lightweight champion, Michael Benjamin has teamed up with businessman, Maurice Pyle to form the Mike Pyle Promotions, the entity that has spearheaded the initiative. The former boxing champion said that the idea came out of a casual discussion between him and Pyle some two years ago.
“We were simply discussing the historical aspects of the sport and the feats of such stalwarts as Lennox Blackmore and the late, Patrick Forde among others and that discussion sparked off the idea to create a forum where our boxers would be tangibly honoured,” explained Benjamin. The two then started a campaign to raise the necessary funds and bring the initiative to fructification.
Benjamin further said that he approached members of the corporate community with the idea but while some were able to visualize the benefits of such an entity. Others brushed it aside as fantasying. This did not daunt the spirits of the inaugurators and they persevered with the aim of realizing the facility.
This resulted in several business entities acquiescing to support the venture and among the first to donate funds were Abdool and Abdools Insurance, Hand in Hand Insurance, Ramchand Auto Spares, Dr. Max Hanoman, Modern Optical Services, German’s Restaurant, Attorneys-at-Law Joe Harmon and Euclin Gomes, Claude Raphael’s Real Estate, Eddy Grant, Lawrence Atherly, GFF President Wayne Ford, Ansa McAl and Phillip Fernandes.
Mr. Benjamin expressed deep gratitude to his benefactors while imploring the input of other corporate bodies. “This is an ongoing initiative that aims to recognize our boxing principals,” explained Benjamin. He said that these include manager, promoters, referees, judges, coaches and all others whose input have contributed to the rich (local) boxing legacy.
The former boxing champion said that the broader objective is to transform the ALBG into a place where boxers could congregated for social evenings while expanding their knowledge of their predecessors and their contribution to the sport. Later on, the facility will have the records of all the boxers on display for research purposes.
When the forum commences tomorrow, officials will tour the facility while being briefed on the exploits
of those pugilists on display. Officials are also expected to deliver brief remarks.
Meanwhile, boxers from several gyms will bare fists in the final Demerara Distillers Ltd/Guyana Boxing Association U-16 boxing tournament which will be staged on the ground floor of the building. As usual, fans could expect raging battles as the boxers vie for trophies and medals as well as bragging rights.
The North Ruimveldt (Multilateral) Secondary School steel band will provide musical renditions.
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