By Emmerson Campbell
After winning World Boxing Council (WBC) Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) titles last Saturday night at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, middleweight Edmond ‘Wonder Boy’ DeClou and flyweight Dexter ‘The Kid’ Marques under the management of Dog Pound Inc., have now shifted their focus to the WBC World Cup.
The WBC Cup is a 32-week tournament that will box off on August 21 in Las Vegas, Nevada to celebrate the WBC’s 50th anniversary. It will allow boxers in the tournament from all around the world to receive lucrative pay days as well as international exposure.
The winner of each of the eight selected divisions in the WBC World Cup will walk away with US$250,000 (50 million Guyana dollars) and even from the very first round of elimination fighters as CABOFE champions, according to reports, will earn as much as US$20,000 (four million Guyana dollars) to US$30,000 (six million Guyana dollars) for the losers and US$50,000 (10 million Guyana dollars) to US$70,000 (14 million Guyana dollars) for the winners, sums that are usually not readily available at this stage of the career of most of the fighters.
During an exclusive interview with Stabroek Sport yesterday at the Georgetown Club, the champions along with their managers Ronald Burch-Smith and Andrew Arjune disclosed their preparatory plans for the WBC World Cup.
DeClou who won his fight last Saturday via a ninth round TKO of Trinidad’s Kevin Placide, intimated that he would like to be in the ring as soon as possible against experienced opponents so he can learn from them. He mentioned Guyana’s first world champion Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis and former European champion Howard ‘Battersea Bomber’ Eastman who he defeated last October for the local middleweight crown as opponents he would like to face.
“For me I would like to get into the ring again as soon as possible, if I can get like four fights before the tournament that would be good but at the stage I am right now I don’t need drop back opponents, I need fighters that I can learn things from like Sixhead or even an eight or 10-round rematch with Eastman, those two fighters I can learn a lot from, especially with their experience,” said DeClou.
Burch-Smith who took on Declou’s management in October after the national middleweight title bout with Eastman mentioned that if the bouts with Lewis and Eastman do not occur he would at least like them to be DeClou’s sparring partners.
When asked what plans Dog Pound Inc. has for their fighters leading up to the WBC World Cup Burch Smith replied: “The first things the manager does is get fights for their fighters. We will do what needs to be done so that their only focus is in the ring, we will try to get the best nutrition, training and warm-up fights for Edmond and Dexter.”
DeClou who resides in Linden also revealed that he will be training fulltime in Georgetown at the Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis gym leading up to August under the watchful eye of trainer Lennox Daniels.
The WBC CABOFE middleweight champion also disclosed that he will be working to improve his power punches, and his jab as well as his defence.
Marques who won his title by pounding out a unanimous victory over Orlan ‘Pocket Rocket’ Rogers said he would like foreign boxers as warm-ups.
“I need good overseas fighters to fight leading up to the WBC Cup; I need good solid warm-up fights because no one in Guyana can beat me,” boasted ‘The Kid’.
Marques opined that the flyweight division will be one of the most competitive divisions in the tournament as it will be overflowing with Mexican fighters.
“I have trained and sparred with Cubans, Canadians and Mexicans and I know how those guys fight, it will be tough and my division is going to be one of the most competitive divisions but I have faith in myself. I train hard and I know I have the ability to win my division,” said Marques
Marque who is also trained by Daniels said that he would like to be in the ring again as early as next month.
The eight CABOFE representatives for the WBC World Cup will be made up of four Guyanese – Marques (flyweight), Elton Dharry (bantamweight) Simeon Hardy (welterweight) and DeClou (middleweight); two Barbadians Miguel Antoine (super lightweight) and Shawn Cox (heavyweight); and two Mexicans Salvador Sanchez Jr. (featherweight) and Fermin De Los Santos (lightweight).