Great moments in Guyana’s boxing history… Miro batters Garraway

By Eion Jardine

Calvin Garraway was born on July 4, 1932 in the upper region of the Pomeroon River.

Calvin Garraway, left and Wilfredo Miro going at it hammer and tongs.
Calvin Garraway, left and Wilfredo Miro going at it hammer and tongs.

He was the nephew of Simeon Garraway, a former middleweight champion of British Guiana in the 1930s.

Calvin made his first appearance as an amateur boxer on August 30 1948 when he knocked out Bill Sattaur in two rounds.

He went on to win the national bantamweight title that same year and then captured the Inter- Colonial lightweight title by defeating E. Simpson of Trinidad.

He also won the 1949 championships knocking out all three of his opponents in the first round.

Garraway’s final competition was in 1950 when he won over Laurel Prince.

Calvin Garraway sits dazed on the canvas as referee Wheating gives him the count.
Calvin Garraway sits dazed on the canvas as referee Wheating gives him the count.

He compiled an amateur win of 18 wins, and 12 kayos and had the distinction of never losing a fight as an amateur.

Garraway took with him his successful amateur ways into the professional ranks knocking out nine of 11 opponents.

He also won the welterweight title of British Guiana and the Inter-Colonial title of 1951.
Wilfredo Miro and Garraway first met on May 10, 1952 in Aruba. Miro had just come out of prison and Garraway won on points.

Miro, known as the `Cuban Hawk’, called for a return and it was granted on September 1, 1952 at the BGCC ground.

What followed was one of the bloodiest ring battles ever witnessed in British Guiana.
The Cuban Miro pounded out a sensational TKO victory over Garraway in two minutes, 35 seconds of the sixth of their scheduled 10-round bout.

The local champ proved vulnerable to Miro’s right cross and the `Cuban Hawk’ exploited this shot fully to send his man down for  counts of nine and eight before referee Wheating intervened to stop the slaughter.

It was the national welterweight champion’s first defeat.

Miro had tipped the scales at 152 and ¾ pounds and Garraway at 153 and ¾ pounds.

Following is a round-by-round report of the fight as reported in one of the local dailies.
Round One
Coming out from the corners before the bell, both men gave the impression that this would be no ordinary fight. However, in their first exchange, it was the tall, fair-skinned Miro, who landed a short left to the face and another left to the cheek.

And when Garraway, fighting in a strange crouching kind of style threw a left to the body of Miro, it was blocked and they clinched.

The Cuban kept poking out a long left which found Garraway’s nose while the latter boring in, exchanged a right to body and  a left to the jaw and followed up with a right to the head and another right to body.

Some milling at close quarters between the two boxers followed with referee Wheating warning the Cuban three times and the local boy once.

The round ended after another exchange.
Garraway’s round.

Round Two
Spirited action by both men was halted by another warning from the referee.

At it again, Garraway was wild with a left but connected with a hard right to the head. The Cuban, sticking out a long left, scored with an overhead right to the jaw which caused the local boy to hold.

Coming out, Garraway crowded his man, firing lefts and rights from close quarters some of which shocked the Cuban.

A  cut was opened over Miro’s right eye which bled freely.

Meanwhile, the Cuban scored with a right uppercut from close in and a right to the ribs which sounded very drum-like to the ringsiders.
Round drawn
Round Three

The third session started at a whirlwind pace and the local boy seemed more like the steamroller that the BG fans knew and was carrying the fight to his man.

Fighting coolly, however, Miro stung him with a short left jab and once more the dangerous right overhand to the head which caused Garraway to hold.

Coming out of the clinch Garraway sent a right to the jaw and a left to the face. Then a hard left to the body and the crowd roared.

The Cuban then got in a solid left to the midsection and a right to the body. The bell rang while they were sizing each other up for another flurry.
Garraway’s round.
Round Four
Fast action marked the opening of this round. Both men were putting a lot of power into their shots seeming to sense that one way or another the fight could not go the distance.

Miro seemed slower in his footwork but on the other hand Garraway was not landing those hard rights which he kept throwing at his opponent’s face largely through the Cuban’s skill in avoiding him. Referee Wheating had a busy time breaking them and out of one flurry from close in a neutral corner, it was observed that Garraway was now bleeding over his right eye also.

Some solid rights and lefts to the body were exchanged in the centre, one from Miro being quite a blow.
Miro’s round
Round Five
After a quiet fourth round, Miro landed a left and Garraway ducked under an overhand right. Straightening up, Garraway rushed in and landed three hard lefts to the face and a right to the midsection which appeared to worry the Cuban who was warned by the referee from carrying his elbow. Garraway took a hard right to the face and clinched.

In breaking he scored with a left and a right and with his left held by the Cuban, he kept pumping with his right to the head until the referee broke them.

Going in again, he speared the Cuban with short lefts and rights and took two lefts to the nose which he shook off and bored in shooting those short lefts and rights again.

The cut over the Cuban’s right eye was flowing again and the crowd kept shouting at the bell.
Garraway’s round
Round Six
The round opened with Garraway throwing a short right and receiving a right to the body. He was short with another right while blocking a left cross. He took a right overhead to the face which drifted him and the Cuban followed up with a right to the head and a left to the body. Another right to the chest and then Garraway tied him up with some short jabbing uppercuts to the chin.

Garraway fought back with left overhead punches to the face and a right to the midsection. But his knees buckled from a lightning left to the heart and a hard right to the jaw and down he went.

But he got up without a count only to be met with a barrage of rights and lefts from the Cuban whom he vainly tried to hold and again went down from where he sat on the canvas, dazed and bewildered. He took a count of nine and got up on wobbly legs only to receive a right cross to head and a left uppercut to body. Down went Garraway again and  took the count of eight.

Garraway was dazed and the referee Wheating stopped the contest.

It was one of the greatest upsets the local betting boys in the fight game had ever experienced.

Unlike Ivelaw Stevenson, who went on to defeat Boswell St Louis twice in return bouts after losing the initial encounter, Garraway never asked for a return nor did he ever fight in Guyana again.

Out of 13 fights overseas, he only won once and was knocked out on six occasions. He died in London in 1980. He was blind and in an asylum. His record reads 27 fights, won 13, lost 13 and drew one. With 10 kayos.

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