Fists of fury

Intense action at amateur boxing tournament

The action was fast and furious at the Carlton Hope/Lionel Hall Memorial Amateur Boxing Tournament at The St Michael School on Saturday night.

And the judging of at least one bout left many at the school similarly furious.

The fight of the night was arguably the contest between middleweights Charles Cox of the Belfield Gym and Cabral Barriteau-Foster of the National Gym. It was an action-packed bout with Cox dominating the major portion of the first two of the three three-minute rounds.

Charles Cox waits in his corner for Cabral Barriteau-Foster to get off the canvas.
Charles Cox waits in his corner for Cabral Barriteau-Foster to get off the canvas.

Cox landed the more telling punches in the first round and clearly ended those first three minutes in the ascendancy. It was more of the same in the second for the first two minutes with Barriteau-Foster showing more offensive purpose as the round came to an end and landing a few solid right crosses to Cox’s head and upper body

 The third round was a thrill-fest with both fighters flaying away at each other, though fatigue started to creep in and both lost some of the poise which they had shown in the earlier rounds. The excited crowd roared them on. Barriteau-Foster, who appeared ripe for a knockout, then demonstrated tremendous heart and resilience.

With the clock ticking down, he made a last gasp offensive effort that resulted in two solid right crosses to Cox’s head, a heavy left to the mid-section and another left to the right of Cox’s head that reverberated around the arena.  It was a minute of action in which Barriteau-Foster finally stood out. When he got the judge’s nod, though, the consternation on many in the crowd told its own story. Some openly voiced the opinion that if Cox had not won, then a draw would have been a fairer decision.

Though the decision would have pleased Barriteau-Foster’s parents, Hugh Foster and Professor Eudine Barriteau who were present, Cox’s trainer Kelvin Nowell was not amused.

“The judging was poor. Cox won two rounds clear. Cabral came on strong in the last round. How could Cox lose the fight after winning two rounds and the third round being close with Cabral finishing strong. This is foolishness and discouraging,” Nowell said.

If that fight was action-packed, the bout between Barbadian flyweight Ezra Lord and Antigua and Barbuda’s Jamaal Skepple will go down in amateur boxing history as the first bout where three blows were landed in three rounds.

Neither fighter landed a single blow in the first round as they bobbed and feigned the sizeable crowd into distraction. They then sprung into action in the second round where all of one blow was landed by Lord.

The action reached fever pitch in the final round with two solid blows in three minutes being divided between each fighter. The final bell could not have come sooner for spectators.

Ajayi Jones of the Briar Hall Gym survived a stinging left to the jaw and the resulting standing eight-count in the first round, to dominate the final two rounds against Antigua’s Joshua Toussaint and earn a well-deserved victory in their bantamweight contest.  His fabulous response to his early trouble included an onslaught in the third round that saw Toussaint getting two standing eight-counts after copping some heavy punishment.

One of the bouts of the night was the superheavyweight contest between Barbados’ 2010 Commonwealth bronze medal winner Anderson Emmanuel and Antigua’s Anthony Severin. The scale would have lied to Severin, though, or he to it, as he was nowhere close to superheavyweight category.

Anthony Severin (left) took a beating from Anderson Emmanuel for three rounds.
Anthony Severin (left) took a beating from Anderson Emmanuel for three rounds.

And if there were a difference of opinion between scale and man, Emmanuel put it into true perspective with a beating up of the game but over-matched Antiguan. Severin was on the receiving end of three standing eight-counts and had to be given credit for finishing the fight on his feet.

Arkeem Isidore called it quits after  sustaining a cut under the eye.
Arkeem Isidore called it quits after sustaining a cut under the eye.

Belfield Gym’s Derek Hyman won the decision over Briar Hall Gym’s Dawayne Sobers when the latter’s trainer somewhat prematurely threw the towel into the ring with Sobers seemingly more guilty of not following his corner’s directions, than being in any physical harm.

In other bouts Justin Edwards of the National Gym won over Thunderbird Gym’s Asfa Grandison; Antigua’s Senthil Murahimohan won after opponent Arkeem Isidore of the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme sustained a cut under the left eye and could not continue in their heavyweight fight. Shaquan Lashley of the National Gym defeated Zy’Riche Johnson of Thunderbird Gym; Ision Fraser of the National Gym defeated Antigua’s Tray Griffith and Ikeoujah Austin of Belfield and Rashawn Holder of Briar Hall were both disqualified.

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