Aug 05, 2020 Sports Comments Off on Allicock is Guyana’s best chance of an Olympic Medal
From ‘Ghetto’ to Glory…
By Sean Devers
Caribbean Bantamweight Boxing Champion and 2021 Olympic hopeful 21-year-old Keevin Allicock grew up in the heart of the ‘Ghetto’ in Albouystown and is living proof that where you come from does not prevent you from becoming great.
One of 20 siblings, Allicock, grew up in a Community known for its crime and poverty but supported by his strong faith in God, a few good men and a pair of Boxing Gloves he has proved that good can come out of a Community, that in 2001, produced Guyana’s first World Champion, the late Andrew ‘six head’ Lewis, who also attended the 1992 Olympics.
If managed properly Allicock seems headed for greatness in the fistic sport and is Guyana’s best chance of winning a Medal in the 2021 Olympics.
Mike Parris is the only Guyanese to win an Olympic Medal when won bronze in 1980 in Moscow and the only Boxer in the English speaking Caribbean to do so.
John Douglas, who competed in the 1996 Olympics, was the last Guyanese Boxer to qualify for the Olympics.
Allicock returned home from Cuba two Fridays ago along with fellow Olympic hopefuls, Desmond Amsterdam, Dennis Thomas and Colin Lewis.
After travelling to Cuba in January for a 3-month stint to prepare for the Olympic Qualifiers, Allicock along with the three others, were stranded in the Spanish speaking Caribbean Island for 126 days because of the Global spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The youth is no stranger to being stranded, on his return from last year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia, Allicock, Colin Lewis and Coach Sebert Blake were stranded in China for a day before a three-day delay kept them in Holland.
The 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games Silver Medalist in the Bahamas has an International Amateur record of eight bouts with six wins and two losses including a debut defeat in Mexico to Leouel Gutlerrez on March 12, 2018.
In December 2018 in Mexico, Allicock was narrowly beaten in a keenly contested bout against current Olympic Bantamweight Champion and number one ranked Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba. Allicock says Ramirez is the best opponent he has faced so far.
In April 2019 in Nicaragua Allicock conceded a controversial ‘Walk Over’ to Alety De Cruz in the semi-finals of the Pan Am Games Qualifiers due to ‘inappropriate attire’.
However, the eight Boxers qualified for the Pan Am Games and Allicock was Guyana’s flag-bearer at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Peru where the entire crowd felt he had won his fight against Alexander Fernandez of Uruguay but the judges though differently.
His other loss came on June 18, 2018 in the CAC Games in Bolivia to Lucus Fernandez of Argentina but he still won a Bronze Medal. The lightning fast Allicock avenged that loss in July last year.
In September 2019 Allicock travelled to Russia for World Boxing Championships. The last time a Guyanese pugilist had quailed for this Event was in 2013 when Denis Thomas and Imran Khan represented Guyana.
Last month, Allicock became the only Guyanese in the latest world rankings released by AIBA when he was ranked 19th in the Bantamweight division. His elder brother Dillion Allicock was the last Guyanese to hold an AIBA world ranking over a decade ago.
Allicock has fought in Suriname, St Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad, Cuba, Russia, Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua and Australia.
Born on June 13, 1999 to Lennard Lawrence Allicock and Pauletta Prince, Keevin spent most of his life in Albouystown, except for a three-year period when he went to live with his mom in Grove on the East Bank.The gifted pugilist attended the Albouystown Nursery, Kettle Primary before spending a short time at a Private school not far from Banks DIH Ltd on the ‘Back Road’ in Greater Georgetown and is one of 20 siblings including seven sisters.
“I got involved in Boxing at a very young age because of dad who had the love and passion for Boxing and my older brothers. Dad was our first Coach and four of my brothers represented Guyana.
The success of the great Andrew ‘six Head’ Lewis along with my brothers inspired to take boxing seriously. I would train with them, training in the afternoon and they went before me and I followed,” added Allicock.
Five of the Allicock clan; Orlando, Kevin, Cort, Dame Prince-Allicock, Dillion and Keevin represented Guyana in Boxing.
“I was not only inspired by Dillion’s world ranking, which I knew of as little boy, but all of my brothers. This is a gift that God give us. It was not that we were trained to fight but we were born to fight,” said the extremely confident Allicock.
“The most difficult part of my Boxing career is in the place I was from. It’s a blessing to grow up there but not being supported financially, having difficulties with my family ….it was very challenging at that moment. But one thing I learnt was to trust in God,” Allicock said after a long pause.
Allicock slept on a mattress on the floor of his home but said growing in a harsh environment made him mentally stronger and forced him to lean more on God.
He joined the Harpy Eagles Boxing Gym as a six-year-old and under the guidance of Coach James Walcott fought for the first time the same year in the Pepsi Tournament where he was adjudged best Boxer.
“I then moved to Forgotten Youths Foundation at 15 where Sebert Blake is the Coach and I have been there since then,” Allicock stated.
Harpy Eagles, FYF and the Six head Lewis Gym are the three Boxing Gyms in Albouystown.
One of Allicock’s biggest disappointed came in Peru at the Pan Am Games against Alexander Fernandez.
“I knew I won the fight, it was real hard to face a decision like that but the crowd tells all …. I won the fight. Mr (K Juman) Yassin (GOA President) was there and he was very disappointed,” Allicock lamented.
He is confident that he will qualify and win a medal at next year’s Olympics.
“Well I server a true and living God and there are no limits to what he can do so it’s a hundred percent and it being postponed will give me more time to train and be ready.
My aim is to get a Gold Medal at the Olympics which will be history for this Country and I want to make history since I was born to make history.
After achieving that I plan to then turn pro since then I will able to make living from Boxing,” disclosed Allicock, whose favourite place is the Gold Coast in Australia.
He feels once he becomes a Professional boxer he will have to go overseas to train since there are not enough quality fighters here and not enough facilities to prepare him to go to the next level.
“We all know I love this country and representing it is pride and honour but I would love to see much more happen from the Government for sports in general because preparing for the Olympics we could make history so we need their support.
I am hoping that they come on board stronger because at the end of the day when we make history everybody will be a part of it so you can’t only want to be a part of the history without being a part of the struggle, so I would love to see more development, more attention for the sport of Boxing from those sitting in high places.
Boxing is different from most of the other sports. When you send me to represent the country I take cuff, to war. I fight for this Country I put my life on the line because I could get cuff and die or run mad so it hurts to see how boxers get treated,” Allicock emotionally said.
Facilities are one of the things we need if you come and see the Gyms. Money is not all of it, if you show up and not feeling to train in other places, when you get there the environment makes you want to train.
There was a project two years ago for the Six Heads Gym to be upgraded but we never see anything happen.
If you look at history and the recognition of the Country, sports have done it, boxing has done it so many times…Andrew ‘six heads’ Lewis, Shondell Alfred, Gwendolyn O’Neil and so many more and now I am here.
They say the youths are the future so we need to fix the things that are wrong and work on it. Everybody just wants to enjoy the good part of it.
Look at someone like Mike Parris, it really hurts me to see the position he is in. He is our only Olympic Medallist and we must honour him. I want to say thanks to him for opening that door and other boxers for putting Guyana on the map,” said Allicock.
“My time in Cuba was a blessing for me. We learnt so much, it was a life lesson for me and for the first three-month stint my boxing IQ get so high. I learnt that if there are difficult situations that face you in life again you could say you went through this already since it was tough…real tough.
We spent seven months there and from March 19 when the airports were closed, we spent another 126 days before coming home.
During that time, I did a lot of praying and fasting, in the training part we would still would work and train on and off because you could not go on the Road.
The meals were the most upsetting part; I could be away from home for 100 months representing my country but most of the days the meals were very bad.
We got some assistance from the GBA President (Steve Ninvalle) and help back home with our families. (Former) President David Granger also sent a package for us and Christopher Jones (Director of sports) also assisted.”
Allicock informed that he will return to training this week after his 7-day self-quarantine ended last week Friday.
He will work with Coach Blake in the mornings and since the Gyms are not yet re-opened, will train on his own in the afternoon working with the Coach’s programme.
Allicock says boxing is not only physical and a lot of mental work goes into his fights similar to the way Floyd Mayweather fights.
He attributed his speed to God-given from a tender age with some help from the dumb bells which increased his hand speed.
“In Cuba I was working on my power since we have to start knocking people out. If the COVID-19 Virus did not come up I knew that I definitely would have done well at the Olympics. I can’t forget how much work was put in by (Cuban Boxing Coach) Francisco Hernandez Roldan. He helped us to develop a lot and we were so prepared. We were ready to execute and make history.”
Allicock is not disappointed that the Olympics has been postponed.
“I lean not on my own understanding and I always leave things to happen in God’s time. When he says no is no and when says yes is yes,” said Allicock who thanked God, his family, GOA, GBA, his Coach Blake and the Cuban Coach and all the Coaches who helped when he was younger, Gary Sinclair, Leon Moore and all the others who have helped in anyway.
Allicock says his favourite sportsmen are Boxer Manny Paccquiao, the only person to win World titles in eight different divisions and who is now a Senator in the Philippines and Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona.
His dream is to be in a position where he can help young people to have a better life by providing facilities which would aid in their development and his wish is to have everlasting life.
“If I have nothing material but have God in my life he will provide all that I need,” concluded the unshakable Christian.
Sep 18, 2020Guyanese Vivian Harris owns Restaurant in Florida By Sean Devers One of six boxers to win world titles for Guyana including the two females, Shondell Alfred and Gwendoline O’Neil, 42 year-old...
Sep 18, 2020
Sep 17, 2020
Sep 17, 2020
Sep 16, 2020
Sep 16, 2020
There is a letter in yesterday’s Stabroek News that all young scholars need to study and importantly contextualize the... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Once again, Guyana is causing regional and international worry following two sets of killings of young... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]