By Sean Devers
Renamed after Commonwealth Gold Medallist Winfield Braithwaite, the three-night Caribbean Schoolboys and Juniors Boxing Championships starts tonight at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) and what is anticipated to be a night of explosive fistic fury, is scheduled to commence at 18:00hrs.
Previously known as the Caribbean Development tournament, this Championship has been hosted by Guyana for the last three years and this country is the three-times defending champions.
Apart from the name change, an increase from three Countries in 2016 to seven this year, the biggest Schoolboys Boxing Card in the Caribbean has also graduated to the ‘home of boxing’ in Guyana from the National Gymnasium where it was held for the past three years.
Guyana, backed by what is expected to be a large and raucous crowd, again start as favourites but face challenges from Barbados, Saint Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Cayman Islands, Dominica and Grenada.
While the last time Guyana failed to take championship honours in a youth Caribbean tournament was in 2015 in Barbados despite winning 10 gold and a silver medal, Trinidad and Tobago is here with the largest overseas contingent this year and the competition should be pulsating.
Tickets for Stands cost $500, $4,500 for Ringside while Ringside season tickets for all three nights cost $ 4,000. The atmosphere inside the ‘Hall’ should be electric where the intensity should be fever-pitched.
And according to Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) President Steve Ninvalle the national team is the best prepared in the history of this tournament.
“The Boxers, under the watchful eyes of Coaches Lennox Daniels, Sebert Blake and Clive Atwell, had 10 weeks of encampment which has been quite costly but nevertheless very important. I would expect a good showing from our youths notwithstanding the fact that Trinidad and Cayman Islands have been hard at training” Ninvalle told Kaieteur Sport yesterday.
“This tournament is a necessity not only for Guyana but also the entire Caribbean. Our nursery needs to be nurtured. I have personally seen the level of development of this tournament over the years and for this tournament our boxers had sessions with a sports psychologist. I am quite confident that that by itself is a novelty for Amateur boxing in Guyana” the GBA boss concluded
Guyana will pin its hopes for a successful title defence on the experienced 18-year-old Southpaw Isaiah Moore who will do battle in the Flyweight division.
The Forgotten Youth Foundation pugilist has 19 Knockouts from his 30 fights for Guyana since making his debut in 2016 in Barbados and is the son of Professional Boxer Leon ‘Hurry up’ Moore and the brother of Thierry Moore who is making his debut for Guyana in this tournament.
The 16-year-old Middleweight Emmanuel Pompey from Young Achievers is one of seven fighters with previous experience of representing their Country and is one of the boxers who is expected to make an impact in his second year is this tournament.
At 13, Thierry Moore is youngest member of this team while 17-year-old Richard Howard and 16-year-old Mark Crawford are the other Boys with previous experience at this level as are the Jackman siblings (Alisha and Abiola) who are the only girls in the Guyana team.
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