Somebody’s ‘O’ at stake in main event of Pro-Am card

Somebody’s ‘O’ will go after the main event of the second Pro-Am card on February 25 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

Undefeated Guyanese boxer Mark Austin, the standout star of the monthly Friday Night Fights, will be putting his record on the line against former Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) champion Miguel ‘Hands of Steel’ Antoine of Barbados. The two will clash for 10 rounds for the Commonwealth Regional junior welterweight title.

Mark Austin

The rivalry was in the brew ever since Antoine demolished Guyanese CABOFE contender Shawn Pile in three rounds last December at the CASH. Austin witnessed that demolition and vowed to take revenge for his compatriot.

Stabroek Sport also learnt at the signing of the contracts yesterday at the Abdool & Abdool Insurance Brokers company boardroom that some of the local pugilists believe that the Barbadians are coming to  defeat their countrymen.

Barbadian Sean ‘The Sniper’ Cox had also administered a beating on Anthony Augustin with a first round TKO and against Leon ‘The Lion’ Gilkes by a unanimous decision.

Austin, 24, who is relatively fresh to the fight game, has six fights under his belt, which includes five wins and a draw while Antoine has 13 straight wins. What is noticeably different between the two fighters is that Antoine has a 69% knockout rate (nine of his 13 wins came via the knockout route) while  Austin has only floored one of his opponents.

Austin said yesterday that he is looking forward to his contest against the Barbadian and he will be doing his best. He disclosed that he will be moving to the hills on the Linden Highway sometime today to step up his training and he promised that the best conditioned fighter will be the winner at the end of the night.

The fighter from the Young Achievers/ Sixhead Gym stated that he will be taking revenge for Pile and the other Guyanese who  have fallen to Barbadian fighters over the last year.

On the other hand, Dexter Marques of the Forgotten Youth Foundation gym will also make a return to the ring against Hewley Robertson in the bantamweight division. Marques fought twice last year and will be looking to continue his dominance over Robertson.The last time the two met, Marques who has one blemish in his eight-fight career scored a unanimous decision victory.

In other professional fights Simeon Hardy, who is returning from a hand injury, will challenge Clifton Barker in a welterweight contest, Rudolph Fraser will go up against Barbadian Gardiel Roberts in the junior lightweight division and Veronica Blackman will take on Mandessa Moses in a catchweight bout.

Meanwhile, Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBC) president Peter Abdool promised yesterday that the card will be a high intensity one.

He noted however that certain countries which are in blocs have been able to thrive, referring to the Ghanaians in the African region.

Therefore, when a Commonwealth Committee met recently a consensus was arrived at to regionalise the titles. This will allow  champions from the different regions to fight for the prestigious Commonwealth title.

Abdool, who is also the president of CABOFE, reported that former British High Commissioner Stephen Hiscock was instrumental in this final decision since he is one of Guyana’s representatives on the Commonwealth body. Abdool stated that Hiscock was also a friend and fan of the sport.

Further, this new development, according to Abdool will bring great opportunities for boxers in the region and particularly in Guyana. Abdool stated that many local fighters are talented and if they continue to improve their records, doors will be opened for them.

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