By Emmerson Campbell
The final bell chimed at this year’s Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) National Intermediate Championships on Sunday night at the National Gymnasium.
The three night championships which featured a total 29 bouts, 55 boxers, (females included) and nine gyms competing for trophies and bragging rights was a successful one despite the lack of attendance and lucrative corporate sponsorship.
The championships served as an avenue for spotting and harnessing the talent of the young boxers who could potentially be future world champions.
Intermediate best boxer Laured Stewart, the welterweight from Forgotten Youth Foundation (FYF) showed his superior skill and power at the championships by stopping his two opponents. On Saturday night, Stewart stopped Harpy Eagles’ Mark Anthony at one minute 41 seconds in the first round after the referee figured that Anthony had absorbed too much punishment.
On Sunday night Stewart brimming with confidence entered the ring and totally dominated GDF’s Trevon King. The FYF product armed with superior defence, skill and hand speed made light work of King.
Just like Anthony, Stewart’s first opponent, the referee stopped the contest to prevent King from taking more punishment by Stewart. The time was two minutes and 38 seconds of the first round.
Ricola Warriors junior welterweight Marlon Darrel, who was also a candidate for best boxer, easily won his two bouts. On Saturday night, Darrel got a three to zero decision over GDF’s Kevin David. However on Sunday night Darrel recorded the fastest victory of the card. The chiseled Darrel who has won his last three fights, all against soldiers, steamrolled GDF’s Devon Richmond. The referee stopped the proceedings 40 seconds after it began.
Bantamweight Richard Williamson from Pocket Rocket Boxing gym also won his two bouts impressively during the championships. Williamson, who fights both in the south paw and orthodox positions, possesses power in both hands, has very good glove sight and excellent ring generalship.
In Williamson’s first fight, he won a two to one decision against the tough and hard hitting Mark Marshall from the GDF gym. Williamson bettered that performance on Sunday night by stopping Harpy Eagles’ Branco Gouveia in one of the better fights on the card. The skillful long haired Gouveia who seemed to have a huge entourage of supporters among the crowd gave a good account of himself. However constant pressure by the superior Williamson wore down the Harpy Eagles’ pugilist. At two minutes and six seconds into the second round, the referee deemed Gouveia unable to continue.
Jamal Eastman, who copped the schoolboys best boxer award by dominating the 75 to 79 pounds category, is also a promising pugilist. Eastman, who is the nephew of Howard ‘Battersea Bomber’ Eastman proved that boxing talent runs in the family.
Also on Sunday night’s card, brothers Kevin and Kurt Allicock from the Harpy Eagles’ gym showed no brotherly love for each other. The Allicocks who both sport pony tail hairstyles, engaged each other in a highly competitive slugfest. However, a two to one victory, the winner’s trophy and bragging rights went to Kurt the south paw who is slightly taller and who is also the elder of the two boxers.
Meanwhile another bout that featured family members took place on Sunday night. On the distaff side, cousins Alisha and Aleema Arokium threw several telegraphed heaves at each other throughout their three round encounter. The fight was awarded to Aleema two to one.
Five Star’s Quincy Boyce who threw punches in bunches overwhelmed Harpy Eagles’ Jamal Archer on his way to a three to zero victory. The pair who was battling for the 110 to 117 pounds final put on a good showing but the relentless and aggressive Boyce was just too much for Archer. Omar Charles the middleweight from the GDF and schoolboy Michael April boxing in the 80 to 84 pounds category from Tiger Eyes also defeated their respective opponents GDF’s Orell Bennett and Rose Hall Jammers ( RHJ) Tyron Lashley three to zero.
Joel Williamson of Pocket Rocket boxing gym was awarded the winner’s trophy after he turned back FYF’s Dwani Lampkin in the second round of their 95 to 99 pound final.
Central New Amsterdam’s Andrew Sookram never got a chance to receive a trophy as he was disqualified for infringement of the rules. Sookram was warned repeatedly for turning his back on his opponent, Tiger Eyes’ Travis Fraser before he was disqualified in the free weight bout.
The final bout featured Keon Azore and Hugh Blackman, two light heavyweights from the GDF who fought a laborious two rounder. The bout ended in the second round at two minutes 45 seconds after the referee deemed the exhausted looking Blackman unfit to continue. After the card ended a tally of points were made and the GDF gym was declared the winner. Ricola Warriors, Pocket Rocket boxing gym and FYF were all joint runners-up as they each finished with the same number of points.
Other gyms that competed in the championships included Harpy Eagles, Tiger Eyes, Rose Hall jammers, Five Star and Central New Amsterdam.
The trophies were awarded to winners and the first runners-up. Trophies were sponsored by Digicel and were shared out by GABA‘s executive members and by WIBA’s Bantamweight Champion, Shondell ‘The Mystery Lady’ Alfred.