On a night where controversy reigned and knockouts were hard to come by, Republican boxer, Brian Leitch, produced a humdinger of a punch that connected to the throat of Ryan Roberts and sent him to the canvass in just 16 seconds of their heavyweight bout where he remained for the full count. This was part of the action in the heavyweight division of the Terrence Ali National Open Boxing Championships at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue, on Saturday evening.
Leitch rushed out at the sound of the bell and met Roberts center ring. The latter boxer flicked out a left jab which Leitch parried before retaliating with a wicked curved punch that found its mark and sent his man sprawling. Roberts attempted to rise but his legs simply refused to cooperate and when the referee reached the end of the 10 count he was still struggling to get into an upright position.
In what was undoubtedly the most controversial bout of the night, Republican lightweight pugilist, Nankumar Singh, lost to his GDF counterpart, Rhondel Douglas, in their light/weight encounter. Known for his aggression, Singh must have been surprised when Douglas assumed the initiative and advanced with flailing fists. A right cross momentarily stopped Singh in his tracks while Douglas peppered him with several one two combinations.
Singh eventually found his rhythm but just when he was launching an attack the referee called a temporary halt and warned Singh for infringing the rules.
The bout evolved into a toe to toe brawl in the second round with Singh enjoying the better of the exchanges with wicked head and body shots. It was around that time that the referee inexplicably called a temporary stop and issued a warning to Singh, an act that was greeted by loud protest from a section of the audience.
The two boxers intensified their efforts in the second round and punches were raining from every angle when the referee once again called a halt and proceeded to deduct a point from Singh; he cited a low blow.
Hardly anyone saw the blow that caused the referee to call a halt for the 3rd time in the bout and it is unclear whether it was illegal or otherwise but and the referee summoned the ringside physician to inspect an injury to one of Douglas’ eyes.
Shortly after resumption, Nankumar was penalized a point after his mouthpiece became dislodged. He then attempted to recoup the lost point with a two fisted attack that was interrupted by the bell.
By now, the crowd had become agitated and many were accusing the referee of biased tactics against the Republican boxer and some members of the audience crowded in close proximity of the ring. Calls by the announcer to refrain from doing so were ignored and the team of officials refused to continue working, opting instead to convene a meeting around the head table.
With still one round to go, the boxers were asked to exit the ring even as President of the GBA, Steve Ninvalle, attempted to reclaim some order. Some fifteen minutes later, the bout resumed and though both boxers seemed buoyant, they just could not recover the zest that preceded the conflict and the fight drizzled to the end where Douglas was declared the winner.
Joel Williamson also scored a knockout victory over Republican, Anandram Dharamraj in their lightweight contest. The fight was going at a fast clip and Dharamraj was doing just fine as he boxed around his man. He held a stiff defence even as he danced around and picked his punches. The Republican then got a bit careless and cocked his head high leaving it unprotected for Williamson to lash out with a vicious right hand punch that sent him to the canvass where, despite his most valiant efforts he failed to beat the count. The time was 2:59secs of the first stanza.
Light/heavyweight, Markember Pierre (GDF), was also in a devastating mood when he faced off with his gym mate, Marvin Williams. Pierre seemed unconcerned that he was battling his colleague and unleashed several ferocious salvoes that had his man blocking up. It was after one such attack that Williams’ knees buckled and he slumped to the canvas for the referee to toll away the seconds at 2:28secs of the first round.
The night’s proceedings got underway on a tame note after Akiel Mounter (EBG) utilized his experience to overcome Stephon Smith (FYF) in the middleweight division. Mounter was simply unchallenged as he unleashed combinations at will to eventually cart off the spoils unanimously.
Orrin LaFleur (REP) then matched skills with Victor Low (GDF) in the jnr/flyweight elite category and the latter boxer defied a point deduction early in the fight to rally to a unanimous verdict. Richard Subratee (FYF) clinched yet another point verdict, in the jnr/flyweight elite category, this time against Anil Chiatraj (GDF). The soldier was tagged early in the first round and received a mandatory 8 count but shrugged it off to reenter the fray with flailing fists. Thereafter, fortunes fluctuated as both boxers enjoyed great moments after favourable exchanges. The fight picked up pace and during a close up exchange Subratee’s punch went a mite low and he was penalized one point for the infraction.
Unperturbed, the southpaw Subratee pressed on and regained the point after delivering a 3 punch combination to the head of a retreating Chiatraj. The FYF boxer then lapsed once again and was penalized for another low blow but his earlier aggression had placed him comfortably ahead of his opponent and he managed to clinch the close verdict.
Colin ‘Superman’ Lewis endorsed his sobriquet when he out-punched a game Delroy Nero (REP) to take the honours in their jnr/welterweight scrap. The rangy Lewis set a fiery pace and had his man on the back foot for most of the first round but Nero exhibited rare courage to hold his own; he also managed to stay in contention with stiff combinations.
As the bout went into the deep rounds, the disparity of skills and combinations became apparent and Lewis utilized every punch in the book to keep his man at bay. A frustrated Nero became aggressive and was penalized a point after delivering a vicious head butt that opened a small wound over Lewis’ left eye.
Lewis received some attention from the ringside physician and rejoined the fray with flailing fist and built up an insurmountable lead to win the bout handsomely.
The welterweight bout between Kellon King (FYF) and Joshua Joseph (REP) was halted in Joseph’s favour in the 3rd round after King received several warnings for infringing the rules.
Policeman, Dennis Thomas continued his dominance in the middleweight division when he outpunched a game but outclassed Desmond Amsterdam (GDF). A rangy boxer, Thomas inexplicably chose to match his opponent’s toe to toe tactics early in the bout and surprisingly looked the better man. He then reverted to a punch and move strategy which proved very effective and eventually earned him a unanimous verdict.
In other results, Marley Ross (GDF) proved to be too good for Clifton Graham (REP) and was adjudged the unanimous winner of their welterweight (elite) bout, while Geraldo Phillips (REP) failed to make the weight and conceded a walk over in his middleweight bout with Joshua Fraser (GDF). Once again, Jason ‘AK 47’ Barker cocked his weapon but could not fire since his opponent, Germain Williams (REP) failed to show up for their heavyweight clash. The finals were contested last evening where the champion gym, best boxer and other awards would have been established.
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