The long awaited Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis Boxing Hall of Fame is now a reality.
Yesterday, nearly 40 people welcomed the opening as officials cut the ribbon to ceremoniously unveil the pictorial archive of past and present influential boxers, referees and promoters.
Guyana’s first world champion, Lewis, the nation’s lone Olympic medallist, Michael Parris, Wayne ‘Big Truck’ Braithwaite, Leon ‘Hurry Up’ Moore, Gwendolyn ‘Stealth Bomber’ O’Neil, Shondell ‘Mystery Lady’ Alfred, ‘Vicious’ Vivian Harris, Peter Abdool and brainchild of the HOF and former boxer turned journalist, Michael Benjamin were some of the individuals honored with framed photos so far.
Among the special invitees of the ceremony which was held at the Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis Gym were Mayor Hamilton Green who delivered the feature address, president of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), K Juman Yassin, Parris and heads of the amateur and professional boxing boards, Steve Ninvalle and Abdool.
Yassin stated in his address that “this is a good venture to have and I sincerely hope that the young boxers take note of the pictures and try to emulate these achievements.”
The GOA head also opined that unless boxers and coaches are employed in their field on a full time basis, the fistic sport in Guyana will remain in the doldrums.
Said Abdool: “Today is about everyone that contributed to the sport. It’s about the officials, coaches, boxers, promoters etc., it’s a celebration of professional and amateur boxing and if anyone is looking for things in boxing, here will be the place to record those things.”
Mayor Green mentioned that young people should have heroes to look up to.
He added that he… “hopes this initiative inspires our young boxers. They can look up to the Mohammad Ali’s but also to our Terrence Ali’s and the Michael Parris and the Sixheads.”
Ninvalle congratulated Benjamin on making the HOF a reality and pledged his associations’ support wherever possible. “We stand ready to commit and assist wherever we can.”
Abdool and Abdool Insurance, Hand-in-Hand Insurance, Ramchand Auto Spares, Dr. Max Hanoman, Modern Optical Service. German’s Restaurant, Attorneys-at-Law Joe Harmon and Euclin Gomes, Claude Raphael Real Estate, Eddy Grant, Lawrence Atherly, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) president Wayne Forde, Ansa McAl and Philip Fernandes of John Fernandes Limited are some of the benefactors of the initiative.