By Michael Benjamin
As boxing buffs commence the countdown for the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) boxing
card slated for next Saturday, February 27, at the Giftland Office Max Mall, Liliendaal ECD, three of the main principals, Dexter Marques, Revlon Lake and Mandessa Moses, are in terrific shape and winding down preparations for their respective bouts. The card is headlined by International Boxing Federation (IBF) Inter-Continental Bantamweight champion, Elton Dharry who will take on Colombian, Israel Hidrogo in a ten rounds non-title bantamweight scrap. These two, along Freddy Baleno, who squares off with Marques, are expected in Guyana sometime later this week to keep their ring date.
When Kaieteur Sport visited the Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis Boxing Gym on Friday afternoon, Marques, Lake and Moses were applying the finishing touches to their regimen and engaged in several rounds of intense sparring while fine tuning several technical issues.
Moses battles Ansila Norville over 4 rounds and the former pugilist, in the absence of competent female sparring partners, was forced to spar with Marques and Lake. The slimly built Moses stood her ground and matched her opponents’ punches and is evidently approaching this fight in a serious manner. After sparring, she engaged in several rounds on the heavy punching bag and then skipped for a prolonged period. The lanky pugilist closed off her sessions with a rigorous bout of calisthenics and free hand exercises.
Marques continued sparring sessions with Lake and despite being the lighter of the two, stood his ground thus endorsing the confidence of his fans that he is in pristine shape for this bout. He was also taken through his paces with three quick
fire rounds on the strike pads, under the guidance and direction of his coach, Lennox ‘Cappel’ Daniels. He also closed off sessions with vigorous skipping complimented with free hand exercises.
Marques is an experienced fighter and had won the local bantamweight and the WBCCABOFE flyweight titles after defeating his countryman, Orlando Rogers and Jamaican, Rudolph Hedge, respectively. The Hedge bout, in April 2014 was his last but Marques is spewing confidence saying that the two year lay-off will not affect his performance. “I am in the best shape of my life,” he pronounced. Indeed, his work ethic and physical condition endorse this sentiment and his speed and endurance was intact as he matched skill and wits with his much heavier opponent, Revlon Lake.
Marques’ opponent, Freddy Baleno is no slouch having compiled a 26-10-0 record. He lost his last fight against Jhonatan Romero and is on the redemption trail. One of his most decisive victories was against Breilor Teran for the WBA Fedelatin light flyweight title. Boxing buffs will remember that Teran had created quite a stir in November 2010 when he faced off with Leon ‘Hurry Up’ Moore at the Princess Hotel and unleashed a vicious two fisted attack that had Moore on the back foot for most of the latter part of the fight.
Many in attendance were convinced that Teran had done enough to win the bout. Baleno had removed all doubts as to who was the better man and strengthens the views of the pundits that this fight should be a stern test for Marques.
Anyone seeing Lake in action against Mark Austin in June 2011 for the local lightweight title will admit that the former fighter packs a wicked punch. The two were engaged in a delightful slugfest when Lake unleashed a vicious left hook that sent Austin sprawling on the canvass and gifted Lake the coveted crown. Lake’s journey has been somewhat stymied since then and he had surrendered a lopsided points decision to Barbadian, Miguel Antoine, for the vacant WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) super welterweight title in July 2009. Lake feels that he has made commendable strides since then and is ready to avenge the loss to the Bajan.
Antoine, with a 17-3-1(9 KOs) record and a wealth of experience, will have other ideas and will be out to continue his domination of his Guyanese foes. In September 2009, Jermaine King had breached Antoine’s invincibility when he managed to secure a draw and even then, King felt that he was ‘done in.’ This may just give Lake the psychological boost he needs that confirms that Antoine could be beaten once he (Lake) employs the right strategy. His current training programme seems to suggest that he is out to upset the Bajan strongman.
Antoine is also on the redemption trail after suffering a 2nd round TKO loss to Ayaz Hussain in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in June last year. He has not fought since but has accumulated a 43% knockout ratio which could make a big difference in the psychological battle between the two pugilists.
The other fights on the card include Imran ‘Magic’ Khan, who will square off with Quincy Gomes in a 6 rounds lightweight duel while Cassius Matthews battles Kishawn ‘Special K’ Simon in a 6 rounds welterweight return bout. Matthew has already defeated Simon but the latter fighter had cried foul and vowed to avenge the loss. He now gets the perfect opportunity.
The night’s proceedings will get underway with three amateur bouts headlined by Nankumar Singh and Jason Phillips. Dennis Thomas will then square off with Desmond Amsterdam in a three rounds exhibition match. These two are preparing for international duty at the impending Brazil Olympics and are expected to leave Guyana shortly for the trials in Argentina. Delon Charles was to have fought Clairmonte Gibson but he has been replaced by Diwani Lampkin to round off the amateur segment. Admission is $5000 for a ringside seat while general seating costs $2000.
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