..-Harvey, Jokhu and Jackman win Best Boxer trophies
By Faizool Deo
FOUR wins in six bouts on the final night and a total of eight wins in 11 international clashes propelled Guyana to championship honours when the 2019 Winfield Braithwaite Caribbean Schoolboys and Juniors Boxing Tournament ended on Sunday night.
The home team, which has dominated the competition since its inception in 2016, finished with 30 points, while their main rivals Trinidad and Tobago finished on 12 points and St. Lucia on five points.
Boxers from the Cayman Islands, Barbados, Dominica and Grenada also competed in the three-night event, which was held at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
Among the standouts was Patrick Harvey, whose performance in the 60kg Junior division propelled him to win the Best Junior Boxer trophy at the tournament. Another Guyanese, Alesha Jackman, who destroyed her opponent from T&T in the lone female clash, was named Best Female Boxer, while Trinidadian Al Jaleel Jokhu was adjudged Best School Boy Boxer.
Although the tournament was a male-dominated affair, its lone female clash (52 kg Junior Women) on the final night was by far the most memorable.
Jackman had Shirley Wolfe from T&T dazed and confused seconds into their
three-round battle. The 14-year-old Guyanese was relentless from the starting bell. Within 10 seconds, the referee was administering a standing eight-count on the Trinidadian. Jackman did not give her opponent a chance to breathe afterwards as she belted combinations and pressed her to near submission.
After the second standing-eight count, Wolfe’s expression of shock and fright summed up the fight—the hard-hitting clinic by Jackman continued as she bounced her opponent off the ropes in what had become a “beatdown” which forced the referee to stop the fight 1:16 into the first round.
Guyana started the final night with Richard Howard getting past St. Lucia’s Krishone Pierre in the 52kg Youth battle. Although Howard threw several punches, it was not until the dying moments of the first round that he started to dominate the fight. Pierre dropped his guard and the Guyanese boxer pounced on him, forcing a standing eight-count.
The St. Lucian recovered in the second round to deliver a solid upper cut, but the body shots by the Guyanese boxers proved to be too much which resulted in another standing eight-count.
Pierre was aggressive in the third round, but he was again caught by a body shot, which forced the referee to intervene for a third and final time.
Guyana’s Wayne Castillo had to use brute strength and aggression against the taller Gilchris Medard in their 52kg Junior battle. The Guyanese fared well in the opening round and had his opponent on the ropes, but the St. Lucian made the necessary changes.
By the second round, Medard began using his jabs with more accuracy, which resulted in him landing a higher percentage of his shots. Although Castillo battled hard to the end, the St. Lucian had done enough to claim victory.
Guyana’s other loss of the night was in the 57kg Juniors final. T&T’s Nyrel Hosein used his excellent conditioning and superb boxing skills to best Travis Inverary over three rounds.
Grenadian boxer Jaffer Shade, who fought on Sunday morning, settled for the bronze.
Earlier in the night, Guyanese Emmanuel Pompey had powered his way past Cayman Islands’ Deshane Vousden in the 81+ kg junior bout. Pompey was too quick and too powerful for his opponent as he caught him with several solid shots, which resulted in a standing eight-count in the first round and a solid two hit: cross and hook which ended the fight one minute 57 seconds into the second round.
Guyana also claimed victory in the final bout when an aggressive Harvey powered past Juan Rodriguez of T&T in the 60kg Junior division.
Harvey knocked down his opponent in the first round via a hard right hand, and although the Trinidadian recovered, he had no answers for the crisp and solid punches of the Guyanese.
Meanwhile, president of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Steve Ninvalle, announced on the final night that Harold Hopkinson from Secure Innovations and Concepts Inc. would give each of the gold medal winners a cash prize.