By Sean Devers
At age 16, Leon Moore seemed destined to follow in the footsteps of his father Leon ‘Hurry up’ Moore who won the several titles during his illustrious career including the coveted Pan Asian Boxing Association (PABA) super-bantam weight title before becoming the youngest Guyanese Boxing promoter in 2010 at 31, while still being active in the ring.
Young Moore began the ‘International’ segment of the third annual three-night Caribbean School Boys and Girls Boxing Championships at the National Gymnasium on Friday auspiciously by defeating Trinidadian Nyrell Hosein in the most entertaining contest of the opening night.
Moore and Christopher Romeo, who beat T&T’s Juan Rodriguez, got double defending Champions Guyana off to a winning start.
There were also victories for the Trini Blessings Waldron who clinched a slightly surprising verdict against Jamaican’s Arnold Anderson and Britney McFarlane of Jamaica, who got the better of T&T’s Shakira Flias in the only female fight of night.
In the three local bouts which preceded the four international fights, Dwayne Baptise beat Daniel Pompey, Fitz Haywood battered Jeron McKenzie into s
ubmission at the end of the first round and Shermon Stephens defeated Jaden Graham.
Watched by a disappointing turn out which included former WBC-CABOFE Super Lightweight Champion Clive Atwell and his wife and son and the wife and daughter of Guyana’s only Olympic Medallist, Mike Parris, both Moore and Hosein traded punches in the first round of their three-round contest.
The Boxers went toe-to-toe and shared the exchanges with good combinations but Moore held a slight advantage at the end of the first stanza of their Light Bantamweight affair.
In the second round Moore kept moving forward and caught the Trini with some hard shots as Hosein tried to counter-punch. A left jab was followed up by a powerful right to the head and Hosein was given standing 8 count as the Guyanese dominated the round.
In the final round the skilful Moore was all over his man as he threw punches in bunches as Hosein fought back gamely but some wicked ‘combos’ to the head and body floored Hosein who quickly got to his feet.
With the large Guyanese team urging Moore on, the Guyanese caught Hosein was a crunching upper cut to the mid-section which seemed to knock the wind out of the lad from Carnival Country.
With Hosein running out a gas, Moore jumped on him with several brutal shots which backed him up against the ropes as he covered up for dear life before he was eventually saved by the bell. Both boxers received a standing ovation from the small but vocal crowd.
Romeo gained the Judges’ verdict in a close and very keenly contested Featherweight battle over Rodriguez as the powerfully built Trini matched Romeo punch for punch in the first round.
In the second round Rodriguez was hit with a straight right which rocked his head back and he was given a standing 8 count. However, although both boxers shared shots, their punches lacked venom and Romeo was awarded the fight.
The Lightweight contest between Waldron and Anderson was highlighted by the nimble evasive action on the part of Trinidadian Waldron who employed the ‘Drunken Master’ antics; faking being hurt only to dance out range of the shots from Anderson.
But as the fight progressed, Waldron who had the fans in the stands in laughter with his funny antics, rarely threw punches and was caught with a clinical right to his head which send him backwards.
But in the end it was Waldron who was adjudged the winner to the surprise of many.
In the lone female bout, both fighters showed aggression but Jamaican McFarlane used her longer reach to out jab her opponent and keep her at bay to win the last fight of the night.
In addition to Guyana, T&T, coached by former female World Champion Ria Ramnarine, had a nine-member team which included three girls, while Jamaica’s four-member team included one female. St Lucia’s team has only one boxer.
Before the action began, President of the GBA Steve Ninvalle told the gathering that winning was not important as seeing the sport grow in the Caribbean and producing Olympic Champions.
“We (Caribbean officials) backed the concept of holding this Championship as the nursery for developing Caribbean boxers. Guyana’s Silver Medallist at the Commonwealth Youth games Keevin Allicock is a product of our under-16 programme” informed Ninvalle, an International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Bureau Member.
“Given Guyana’s dominance in regional amateur tournaments after having a strong breeding ground for competent fighters, the country has essentially become an understudy regarding the recipe for successful boxers,” the GBA Head concluded.
Cecil Forde, President of the Trinidad & Tobago Boxing Association (TTBA) said this tournament was a great concept adding that hopefully is gets bigger and better in the future.
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