Sebert Blake says Mike Benjamin is his favourite local boxer
By Sean Devers
If you speak to most Coaches of most sporting disciplines the common cry is for better facilities, more resources and more competitions if the standard of Guyanese sports persons are to improve to international quality and National Boxing Coach Sebert Blake is no different.
New Sports Minister Charles Ramson, unlike his predecessors, is young and participated in first-division cricket as a left arm-spinner for Everest and played Basketball and seems genuinely interested in taking sports in Guyana to a new level. In addition, the funding for Sports in the 2020 Budget is the most ever.
With this in mind 46-year-old Blake, who has been a Coach since 2001 after his Boxing Career ended, says for local boxing to improve there is a need for facilitates and resources.
“For boxing to truly develop in Guyana you need proper facilities and resources. Over the year Coaches from the USA and Cuba among others, would always say Guyana has lots of talent. But the thing we don’t have is the facilities to take the sport to the next level.
We need proper Gyms, when I say Gyms, I don’t mean the regular Gyms we have now but one with all the modern equipment. As a Coach I have the knowledge and experience but that alone cannot take a boxer to the highest level.
We need more competition and if we have proper facilities with good accommodation for the boxers we could host more international Cards here which will give our boxers much needed exposure to better opponents without having to travel overseas and without paying hotel cost.
Also international boxers and coaches can come here and work with our boxers which should improve our boxers, while such a facility should improve the moral of our boxers and motivate them to want to train and give their best for Guyana. This will require less founding from everyone involved including the Government,” informed Blake, the Coach of Guyana first Female World Champion Shondell Alfred.
Blake explained that one of the differences with boxing now and when he started boxing is the high number of good boxers in all divisions in those days.
“Back then, because of the competition, you had to work hard and dream big to get to where you want to go. With the volume of boxers being depleted over the years, it is now easier to get to a championship round.
Many boxers these days are not showing that commitment and dedication to push hard and give their all to training. Many know that there are only a few boxers in their division and they don’t train as hard as they should because they know they will win their fights.
In our days you know there are four and five good boxers in the same division and everybody training as hard as you.
I never went into the ring without proper training, but the kids these days don’t want to work to be the best in their category locally but when they get to the international level they are tested for the first time,” said the Coach of Olympic hopeful Keevin Allicock.
Coach Blake feels that the standard of local boxing technically and talent-wise is high compared to the rest of the Region.
“It’s just the frequency and the exposure to the level of competitions at all levels that’s lacking,” said Blake who described himself as sports enthusiast.
“I watch all sports locally and my two favourite cricketers are Carl Hooper for his elegance and Shiv Chanderpaul…..you could replace the word patience with his picture in the dictionary. If athletes can show that type of patience and wait for the right moment to execute, they would do well. In Boxing I like Mohammed Ali but my favourite is Floyd Mayweather, he is best all-rounder boxer I have ever seen…. good in defence and offence. Locally, I like Mike Benjamin. I have watched him against Rawle Frank and Barrington Cambridge. I like him because he was a fighter, he could rough it out with you and he could also Box; use of jabs and move around the ring. In Athletes, I like Usain Bolt and locally Colin Boyce, I ever wanted my son who ran for police, to pattern himself after him,” said Blake who has been doing a lot of reading lately.
He thanked God for giving him the strength and talent to carry out his work and Keith Bazilo, who owns the FYF Boxing Gym, for giving him the opportunity to work with the kids in the Albouystown Community over the years and for his role as a promoter and boxing Manager.
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