President of the Guyana Boxing Board Peter Abdool said yesterday that he was shocked to hear of the death of Maurice `Busy’ Boyce.
According to reports Boyce died on Saturday morning after feeling unwell a few days earlier.
“In the first instance it’s shocking. I did not know that `Busy’ was ill said Abdool adding that he is still to “get the gist of it (Boyce’s death).
Abdool, however, spoke highly of the late boxing trainer.
“Busy was very well respected, well regarded,” he said adding…” When boxers arrive at the level where they have to fight for bigger titles for example when Andrew Murray (Jr.,) had to go and fight for the Commonwealth title, Odinga (Lumumba) would have immediately sought out `Busy’.
Boyce holds the distinction of having been involved in seven World championship fights, five involving Braithwaite in 2002, twice in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007, once with Anthony “The Pearl” Andrews in 1995 against Jorge Fernando Castro and once with the late Andrew Murray Jr., who fought “The Bazooka” Ike Quartey in 1995.
“He was held in the same esteem as the Freddie Roach’s and so on,” Abdool added.
Abdool said boxers had a different regard for Boyce.
Abdool said he was sorry to hear of Boyce’s death adding that his death was a blow for boxing.
“Boxing is already at a very low ebb both amateur and professional,” he said.
Veteran boxing referee Eion Jardine said two highpoints of Boyce’s career were his involvement with Kenny Bristol and Wayne Braithwaite.
“Kenny Bristol was his first big achievement. Bristol won the first Commonwealth title by a Guyanese and he was one of the trainers. That was his first big achievement.
Bristol won the vacant title at home in 1979 super welterweight title defeating Pat Thomas of Wales by a unanimous decision at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
“His other achievement was Wayne Brathwaite’s defeat of Vincenzo Cantatore of Italy for the vacant World Boxing Council Cruiserweight title in 2002.
“Busy was the corner man with Colin Morgan, another Guyanese as the chief second,” Jardine said.
Jardine recalls Boyce’s advent into the sport.
“He started around 1968 or 1969 by going to the gyms, holding buckets and such like, holding towels for boxers and that sort of stuff, ” he said.
Boyce was to later work in the corners of such boxers as Lennox Beckles, Vernon Lewis and Bristol,” Jardine recalled.
“His last time as a trainer -he was one of the best hand wrappers- and the last fight he did was Dexter Gonsalves losing to DeMarcus `Chop Chop’ Corley,” said Jardine.
Veteran boxing promoter Keith Bazilio, in describing Boyce’s death as “real sad,” added…” Boxing has lost a great trainer, someone who really loved the sport.”
Bazilio said as a trainer Boyce helped many boxers scale the heights of their profession.
“Almost all the boxers that won titles, he had some part to play,” he added.