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Still hope for boxing

Keithland King lands a right hand on Lance Garcia.

Electrical hitches and a shortened programme did not detract from an entertaining package on Saturday night as the Amateur Boxing Association of Barbados staged the Carlton Hope Memorial Tournament at the Springer Memorial School’s Auditorium.

With amateur boxing showing a pleasing revival in the island, even if the professional game remains in the dumps, the association’s focus on youth is paying dividends and there was some definite talent to be discerned among both male and female pugilists.

One of the most impressive on the night was pint-sized Mary Fraser of the National Gym.

Seemingly tough as nails, despite her size, Fraser was all over Briar Hall Gym’s Reatta Kowlessar with a two-fisted attack to which Kowlessar had no answer. The referee quickly stepped in to stop the fight within the first minute of the first round to save the over-matched youngster who was making her debut.

After her last outing when she overcame I’Precious Lythcott in a much closer match-up, Fraser is starting to attract much attention.

Another female having a good outing was the BDF Sports Programme’s Gheeta Narine.

Narine, who represented Barbados at the world amateur level two years ago, was involved in a relatively close encounter with Trinidad and Tobago’s Keitha Charles who was matching Narine punch for punch. But a crunching, wind-sapping body shot stopped Charles in her tracks before she hit the canvas in a heap. She remained there for about three to four minutes receiving attention from ringside medic Dr Glasford, but it was just a question of getting her wind back. She eventually exited the ring assisted by her handlers.

The Trinidad and Tobago fighters generally had a bad night, perhaps best exemplified by the lanky light-welterweight Stanasi Charles. He came up against BDF Sports Programme’s Cobia Breedy who gave up several inches in height advantage. But Charles’ jab was virtually non-existent and he consistently allowed the diminutive but hard-punching Breedy to get on the inside to deliver a number of telling blows.

Both men were visibly tiring at the end of the fight but Breedy got the points win because he was allowed to land the heavier punches.

Keithland King of the National Gym had his way with Trinidad’s Lance Garcia in an exciting welterweight contest. The cocky King dropped Garcia to his knees in the second round with a solid right cross that brought a standing eight-count from the referee.

King then delivered a booming right cross off a left jab in the third round that literally took Garcia off his feet and landed him on the canvas for another eight-count. This time the referee deemed that Garcia had taken enough thumping for the night. King, however, must guard against his propensity to drop his left guard each time he goes for a right cross. Against a better, more observant fighter, it could prove his downfall.

In other bouts pin-weight I’Precious Lythcott easily defeated Faith Fields of the Four Hill Gym in a contest where both boxers seemed reluctant to hit each other.

Welterweight Edissa Mitchell of the Belfield Gym was game but not good enough for the National Gym’s Jamal Edmund who frequently beat Mitchell to the punch and landed his jabs at will.Barbados’ Akeem Isadore defeated Trinidad’s Gerald Narine in a heavyweight contest, but only just.

In a mainly wild, unbalanced affair, Isadore and Narine both landed some solid blows but were obviously lacking in condition, Isadore in particular.

Nearing the end of the fight, Isadore survived by constantly hanging onto Narine like a cub would its mother. He was a winner with a beaten look at the end of the contest. (WG)

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