May 03, 2021 Sports
By Sean Devers
Kaieteur News- Staged by Promoter Carwyn Holland, Guyanese Gwendolyn O’Neil won a ten-round unanimous decision over American Kathy Rivers on May 29, 2004 at National Park in Georgetown, Guyana for the WIBA Light Heavyweight title that had been vacated by Jacqui Frazier-Lyde.
Now almost 17 years later, Guyana’s fourth (Men) World Champion and now Boxing Promoter Gary St Clair is attempting to stage what will be the biggest Event in the history of Guyana’s Boxing with Gary St Clair Superhero fight night Promotions card at Providence Stadium in September which could be shown on a Pay-per-view channel.
The Pro/Am Card which will feature five Amateur and five Professional bouts, will see US based Guyanese Elton Dharry and Dexter Marques (who resides in Guyana), fighting for world titles.
Dharry will oppose a Brazilian and Marques will battle a Venezuelan, while Guyana’s best hope to win Guyana’s second Olympic Medal in 41 years, Keevin Allicock will match gloves with an overseas Boxer. Alisha Jackman could also be factored in against an Australian female.
President of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) Peter Abdool, who along with St Clair were recently engaged in a Zoom meeting with Guyana’s pro-active Sports Minister the Honourable Charles Ramson Jr, informed that the meeting was ‘excellent’.
“I think the Minister, like most of the people in Guyana, are sporting fans… Boxing fans…and are looking forward to the time when we can be Box again.
People like Elton (Dharry) and Dexter Marques and some of the younger fellas really want to compete again and are losing valuable time.
The Minister was very encouraging in terms of the fact that at the end of the day it’s just not sports authorities but in conjunction with the Minister of Health who can actually allow us to box.
But the problem in Guyana is that we cannot create a bubble like they can do in Las Vegas… like locking a hotel off and so on …. That’s almost impossible, so we have to wait until we get the go ahead from the Task Force,” informed Abdool, who is also the President of Insurance Brokers Association.
“I must tell you that the proposal from Gary’s Card was greeted by everyone with great enthusiasm.
Gary is viewed in very high regard by most and has made a sterling contribution to boxing generally speaking and it’s wonderful to see him want to come back to Guyana and play the role of promoter.
As you know at the end of the day it does not matter how good a Boxer you are…it does not matter who you have to fight with or what is going on in the Country, if you don’t have promoters who are willing to come forward and actually put their money on the line to promote the sport it creates an enormous difficulty for us,” the GBB President continued.
According to Abdool, who was first elected GBB President in February 2007 to fill the void left by outgoing president KD Persaud who migrated to Canada, a number of things are important and explained that Gary put forward an all-inclusive proposal which embraces both the Amateur Association and the Professional Board.
“The Card he is proposing is the largest Boxing event in the history of Guyana to the extent that he wants to hold it at the Stadium and he has on the Card both Elton and Dexter fighting for titles, while Keevin Allicock is also on the Card, which makes it a Pro/Am card.
The Amateurs really need to fight as much as possible because of the various completions they have to go to, while the professional Boxers like Dharry and Marques are waiting in the wings for a shot at a World Title,” added the Managing Director of Abdool & Abdool Inc-Insurance Brokers and Financial Consultants which has been in operation in Guyana for 46 years.
Abdool said St Clair has to be commended for putting such a card together.
“What he will need is support from everybody and not just the Board. He will need support from the Government in terms of the Stadium as the venue and whatever else they can do. It’s an event that we are looking forward to and hopefully it will come off and Covid will not hold us back for much longer.
This card could mean a resurgence for Boxing which could see the return of Boxing Board’s Pro/ Am Card which could be done on a bi-monthly basis so that we can get ourselves back on our feet.
So we are all waiting for Covid to lift and we will embrace Gary Card and go from there,” concluded Abdool who was elected President of Fecarbox in 2015 with added responsibilities of overseeing boxing activities in Mexico, Latin and Central America, Venezuela and Columbia among others.
The Australian-based Guyanese, St Clair, on 29 July 2006,won two World Titles in one night when he challenged Cassius Baloyi for the IBO and IBF super-featherweight titles.
St Clair, who became world champion winning by a unanimous decision, promised Abdool that if all goes well, this won’t be a one-off Event for Guyana.
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