Roberto Duran of ‘no mas’ fame would have been proud.
A first round quitter and a third round stoppage was the best that the Dominican Republic had to offer on Saturday night last, at the Thirst Park ground much to the disappointment of the small crowd in attendance. It was a historic night for local boxing given the possibilities of the involvement of the Caribbean Media Corporation and the international rebroadcast that is scheduled for later this week, but that apart, the performances of the boxers from Santo Domingo will not go down well in the annals of local boxing.
It was all Guyana as Lennox ‘Pretty Boy’ Allen pummelled his way to a first round stoppage of Rafael Romero in the main bout and Leon ‘Hurry Up’ Moore forced Edison Morillo to call it an early night in the third round of their encounter. Romero had been throwing out the challenge to Allen since his arrival in Guyana but was made to eat those words from the opening bell. Allen, began the fight with an open stance and defence, and set about immediately stalking Romero. He connected with a solid right hand and followed up with a left hook to the side of Romero’s neck early in the round with Romero hitting the deck and feeling the comfort of Guyanese canvas.
It was a classic case of blink and you’ll miss it. For all his pre-fight bravado, Romero showed an incapacity to absorb the punching power of Allen. He got up and tried to make a fight of it but at 50 seconds into the round he was faced with a choice; try to make a fight of it or skulk off in vile disgrace. Not surprisingly, he chose the latter, handing Allen a victory after six weeks of training but less than a minute of actual work.
Allen took the victory in stride saying “I am willing to fight the best in Guyana and the Caribbean and am looking forward to getting a crack at the Youth World Title.” Romero, through his interpreter said Allen was much heavier than he expected after the weigh in and the punching power was what forced him to quit.
The main supporting bout ended a bit farcically after Moore and Morillo seemed poised to provide a good contest. The first round was a feeling out round with both fighters wary of each other and none too crisp with their shots. Moore by virtue of being the busier fighter had the edge at the end of that round.
The second round was more of the same but with Moore getting closer to Morillo and landing a few straight lefts from his southpaw stance. Morillo seemed to have a good enough defence to at least make a contest of it so it was surprising when 53 seconds into the third round he began wincing in pain and clutching his right ear, indicating to referee Ian Mc Pherson that he could not continue.
Morillo then knelt clutching the ring ropes and his ear until the referee summoned ringside physician Dr. Carl ‘Max’ Hanoman who decided that the bout should indeed be called off in the interest of the boxer’s safety. It was later revealed by Hanoman that Morillo had been complaining of an earache since his arrival in Guyana and he had prescribed eardrops. The fighter’s interpreter said Morillo was dejected at the outcome and wanted to give local fight fans more bang for their buck. He called for a rematch and said he would give a better account of himself next time around. Moore said the victory places him squarely back in the hunt for a world title which he hopes he gets early in the new year.
“I am glad I got the win, I have been training hard in Barbados and preparing for a World Title. My manager Sam Layne has been putting together some fights for me, I am scheduled to fight again in Barbados in December and then hopefully it’s on to a World Title fight next year,” Moore, who is ranked number seven by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), said.
Stabroek Sport has learnt that Moore’s contract with Layne is up at the end of this year and if he doesn’t re-sign, then a local promoter has his eyes set on lining up a fight with Canadian International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super Bantamweight champion, Steve Molitor.
Earlier in the night, Dexter Marques and Orlan Rogers produced the fight of the night going toe-to-toe for six rounds in a repeat of their epic fight two months ago. On that occasion Marques knocked out Rogers but this time had to settle for a unanimous decision over the wild Rogers. Rogers came out from the get go seemingly with payback on his mind as he threw wild and winging punches which Marques easily evaded with his superior craft. Marques looked in tip top shape and continuously tagged Rogers from different angles, building up points all the way. At the final bell the decision was a forgone conclusion with Marques easily getting the judges’ nod.
The opening bout of the night was the debut of Paul Lewis jr. who took all of 60 seconds to put the experienced Clifton Barker to sleep. Lewis connected with a stinging overhand right which sunk Barker to the canvas where he lay for a short while. Referee Eion Jardine immediately waved the fight off handing Lewis a perfect start to his professional career. All in all, the card did not live up to its potential although the television production for the CMC rebroadcast was good.
So the Caribbean Boxing Classic is off and running and it will be left to the fighters themselves to showcase their skills to the international audience having been provided with an avenue to so do.