‘Hands of Stone’ handed Regional Commonwealth title

Barbados’ Miguel ‘Hands of Stone’ Antoine handed Guyanese Mark Austin his first professional defeat and in the process became the first fighter to own the Regional Commonwealth title in the main event of the Pro-Am card at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Friday night.

The junior welterweight match-up saw both fighters weighing-in at 140lbs but in the end the more tactical and muscular Antoine earned the unanimous decision victory. In the 10-round contest Antoine, whose record now stands at 14-0 with nine knockouts, used his ring experience and tactics more effectively and made Austin retreat to the ropes on occasions.

Miguel ‘Hands of Stone’ Antoine connects with one of his many powerful right hooks to the head of Mark Austin.

Antoine’s first line of attack was to unleash his “hands of stone” mainly focusing on the head and `kitchen’ of Austin in the early rounds. Austin though, did not `lie down and die’ but slowly gained some ground as the fight progressed.

He landed some crisp punches with the intent of reminding his opponent that he was still in the contest.

Despite slipping in the seventh round, he showed his class and skill in the eighth round as he managed to connect a few head-snapping jabs but he was already way behind in the fight.

Dexter Marques, in the curtain raiser for the professional segment, outboxed and outclassed Hewley Robertson in their super bantamweight clash. Marques’s speed and aggression was too much for the older Robertson, whose ring activity was virtually minimal.

Barbadian Gordiel Roberts, at the first toll of the bell, threw punches in bunches, but Guyanese Rudolph Fraser survived the attack to gain a unanimous decision victory in the junior lightweight bout. Roberts fired at will until a cut above the right eye slowed him down for the rest of the fight.

Fraser seized the advantage late in the first frame and won the next three rounds.

Meanwhile, in the lone female match, Mandessa Moses produced another clinical performance to beat the heavier Veronica Blackman, who weighed in at 189lbs, 65lbs more than Moses. The nimble Moses used her jabs effectively to set up her power shots, a tactic to which Blackman had no response.
In the amateur segment, the out-of-town gyms got the better of their city counterparts in four heated bouts and fighters were all rewarded with hampers, compliments of Courts (Guyana) Inc.

Shaka Moore of the Essequibo Boxing Gym defeated Elijah Insanally of Harpy Eagles by a 3-0 decision in their 70-74lbs clash; Benjamin Henry of Port Kaituma Gym won his bantamweight fight against Carlton La Fleur of the Forgotten Youth Foundation Gym after the referee stopped the contest two minutes, 49 seconds (2:49s) in round two; Richard Williamson of Pocket Rocket Gym prevailed by a 2-1 decision over Imran Khan of Harpy Eagles while in the lone all-Georgetown clash, Delroy Nero of Republican Gym got a 3-0 decision in his favour against David Thomas of Young Achievers.

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