boxing gets new lease on life
Young amateur boxing prospects got the opportunity to test their skills on Saturday night when the Amateur Boxing Association staged its Road Show at the grounds of the Desmond Haynes Pavilion at Holders Hill, St. James.
And one boxer definitely catching the eye was young Stevenson Lythcott of the Belfield Gym in Black Rock, St. Michael. He took the decision in his bout, the final of the night, against Matthew Thorne of the Shaka Gym, run by former professional pugilist Shaka Henry.
Lythcott showed good poise and the ability to throw jabs from a solid foundation as well as the ability to slip punches. It was obvious that he had been drilled on certain fundamentals. Conversely, the taller Thorne surrendered his height advantage by persistently attacking Lythcott from an unnecessary crouched position that made him more of a target than an offensive force.
Not many solid punches were landed but both young men showed enough glimpses to give satisfaction to their respective camps.
One of the more exciting fights of the night was that between Anthony Absolom and Mario Ifill, both of the National Gym. It was a curious battle in many ways as Ifill spent the majority of the three rounds running for cover from Absolom. Absolom chased him so furiously that by the third round he was gasping for breath and hardly able to stand. Ifill then sought to take advantage of Absolom’s fatigue by attempting to launch an offensive but he was never confident enough to go on all-out attack and Absolom was able to repel his brief show of offence. Unsurprisingly Absolom got the decision as he landed the majority of blows whenever he succeeded in halting Ifill’s frequent Usain Bolt imitations.
The lanky Mario Lynch seemed to have most of the crowd support but his National Gym colleague Damien Carrington was not daunted by this. Lynch was noticeably slower than his opponent and was frequently beaten to the jab by the harder punching Carrington.
Lynch seldom sought to double up on his jab and confined his offence to a mainly speculative left lead. He was fortunate at the end of the third and final round when Carrington’s solid left to the jaw appeared to buckle his knees momentarily. But the bell put paid to any chance of the night’s first knockout.
Tuquon Phillips of the Four Hill Gym and Antonio Rollins of Briar Hall Gym had a relatively close encounter. But Rollins’ aggression and willingness to take the fight to his opponent eventually earned him the win.
Kumi Israel of the National Gym has had a bit more exposure than others on the card and it showed in his fight against Rashad Scantlebury of the Four Hill Gym. He defended himself well against Scantlebury’s onrushing attacks and showed an ability to counter with both hands, landing a few solid jabs and right crosses to his opponent. Scantlebury was beaten but not disgraced.
In the opening bout of the night Ajayi Jones of the Briar Hall Gym got the decision over Cody Cumberbatch of the Four Hill Gym.
This card was part of the association’s promotional programme and was held in conjunction with a community group from the Haynesville, Holders Hill and Durant’s Village areas of St. James as part of the preparation for the formation of a community club to be named the Durant’s Village Entertainment Club. When the club is formally launched, boxing will be one of the main activities on its programme.
Please also see pages 44 & 45. (WG)††