By Emmerson Campbell
A vicious knockout by Simeon ‘Candy Man’ Hardy brought the crowd at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall to its feet on Friday last at the staging of the 18th edition of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) ProAm Friday Night fights.
Hardy, in recent interviews with this newspaper had promised that if his opponent Winston Pompey could not withstand a punch called ‘the chin check’, their junior middleweight bout would be over early.
At 54 seconds into the second round, Hardy landed the ‘chin checker’, a brutal left hook that connected to the chin of Pompey causing the 32-year-old journeyman to crumble to the canvas.
With the referee counting, Pompey tried to regain his composure; however, the after effects of the chin checker caused him to crumble to the canvas once again. Pompey, who seemed lost on “dizzy street,” prompted referee Franklin Brisport to wave off the contest giving the knockout victory to Hardy. The ‘Candyman’ remains unbeaten in his five professional bouts with four of them ending within the distance. The journeyman Pompey now has a record of four wins, 10 losses and two draws.
In the post fight interview with Stabroek Sport, Hardy and his coach, Sebert Blake mentioned that the knockout specialist will be looking for more opponents in order to build his record and establish a credible resume’.
Blake opined that Hardy, who is a crowd pleaser, needs more exposure as he has the talent to be a future world champion.
He added that his fighter is willing to fight any boxer out there and would step in the ring at 154 pounds a statement echoed by Hardy.
In the preceding welterweight bout, Guyanese Jermaine ‘2 Bad’ King impressed the likes of those in attendance as he put on a good showing in his bout against the Barbadian , Miguel ‘Hands of Stone’ Antoine.
However, King will still be looking for his first taste of a victory in his professional career as he had to settle for a controversial draw.
Antoine, who came into the bout with an impressive, unblemished record of 14 wins with nine of those by knockout, was out boxed by King throughout the fight. King, who had a record of two fights, all being losses on points, was the aggressor and landed more punches than Antoine. The taller, braided King, who established from the first round that he was there to fight Antoine, forced the Bajan out of his game plan.
Antoine, who previously had difficulty with fighters in the southpaw stance and loves to go forward, found it difficult to land any substantial punches on his opponent.
King, who fights both in the orthodox and southpaw stances, started the first two rounds fighting out of the south paw position and also forced Antoine to fight going backwards. King’s plan worked to perfection as he was landing the more effective blows throughout the contest, especially the left hook. One of those left hooks, caught the tired looking Antoine in the third round causing the Barbadian to buckle. However, Antoine would survive and the fight went the distance.
After the end of four rounds, the fight went to the score cards, Judge Orin Hart scored the bout 39 to 37 in favour of King, Judge Trevor Arno’s score was 40 to 36 in favour of Antoine and Judge Carlton Hopkinson scored the fight a draw 38 to 38. King mentioned that he would like to have a rematch with the Barbadian pugilist as he felt he was robbed of the victory. King, however, said he already has a fight booked for next month in Trinidad, but would like a return bout with Antoine in December.
Debutants Shaaed Ali and Kelsie George didn’t experience good starts to their professional careers as they both lost on the scorecards to their more experienced opponents Charlton Skeete and Troy Lewis respectively.
Ali and Skeete engaged each other in a four round bantamweight slugfest. The bout featured several telegraphed heaves by the two unskillful pugilists who both train at the Harpy Eagles (HE) boxing gym. The gym mates, engaged each other in a wild but entertaining bout. The Judges awarded Skeete the winner by a majority decision. Skeete, now has his first professional victory after losing his first three fights.
George, from the Pocket Rocket Boxing gym (PRBG) in Berbice, landed some stiff jabs in the first two rounds of the super middle weight bout and gave a good account of himself throughout the fight. However the battle tested Lewis was able to absorb what the Berbician had to offer and turned up the pressure on the tiring George. Lewis, would later corner George and land some bombs of his own, that were enough to pull out the majority decision. Lewis now has a record of four wins 11 losses and one draw with two of his wins by knockout.
On the amateur segment of the card newly crowned Intermediate champions in their respective divisions Marlon Darrel (junior welterweight), and Richard Williamson (bantamweight), continued to excel as they recorded impressive victories over their opponents.
Darrel, who fought PRBG Kishawn Simon, inflicted stinging jabs and vicious uppercuts to his opponent’s body, Simon who thought holding on to the Ricola Warrior was the only way to keep him from being knocked out, grabbed and held onto Darrel for dear life. Simon, who was warned repeatedly by the referee for holding eventually lost by disqualification for infringement of the rules of amateur boxing.
Williamson, who trains at the PRBG, clearly had better punching power and speed, simply overwhelmed Branco Gouveia, just as he did last Sunday in their finals bout in the intermediate championships. Williamson, who applied relentless pressure and landed several head-snapping left hooks on the (HE) product Gouveia, caused the referee to put an end to the contest at two minutes and 31 seconds in the first round. After three standing eight counts, referee Ramona Agard deemed Gouveia unfit to continue.
Also on the amateur segment of the card were Dewani Lewis and Akeem Daniels of Forgotten Youth Foundation (FYF) and HE) boxing gyms respectively. The two youngsters were engaged in a controversial 95 to 99 pounds bout. The highly competitive bout was initially awarded to Daniels two to one, however after a protest by Blake, Lewis’ trainer; the decision was overturned rendering the deserving Lewis the win.
Also on the card was Travis Fraser, the Tiger Eye’s boxing gym pugilist who won the junior middleweight first place trophy at the National Intermediate Championships Sunday last. However Fraser was not as fortunate as he dropped a two to one decision to the Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) Kevin David in their punch-filled bout.
During the half time intermission Guyana’s first world champion Andrew ‘Sixheads’ Lewis, current WIBA Bantamweight champion Shondell Alfred, former world rater in the middleweight division, Reginald Ford and 1975 Pan Am games silver medalist Kenny Bristol were summoned to the ring. The former and current boxers were acknowledged for the feats they accomplished in the sport of boxing.
Also at intermission a representative of Courts Guyana Inc, shared out hampers to all eight amateur boxers.
The monthly card is an initiative of the GBBC in collaboration with the Ministry of Sport and the National Communication Network (NCN).
Sponsors for the event include Digicel, Giftland Office Max, Courts, Banks DIH Limited and Ansa Mcal