THE Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) team left with 13 boxers yesterday to compete in what is expected to be a challenging 2019 Caribbean Boxing Championships, scheduled for Trinidad and Tobago from last night to December 9.
Initially, GBA had named a team of 21 boxers and four officials, but a lack of funding forced them to trim the squad, led by renowned coaches Terrence Poole and Sebert Blake.
Support came from the National Sports Commission, firstly with $500 000 then on Tuesday with a cheque for an additional $500 000. John Fernandes Group of Companies also played a major role.
According to president of GBA, Steve Ninvalle, some $5M was needed to carry the original squad.
Leading the charge in Trinidad and Tobago would be arguably Guyana’s best amateur boxer Keevin ‘Lightning’ Allicock, who told the Guyana Chronicle yesterday from the Twin Island Republic that he is all set.
“I AM READY TO DO IT BIG”
Allicock is one of several Caribbean medal winners in the side. The current bantamweight champion is joined by Caribbean Middleweight champion ‘Dynamic’ Desmond Amsterdam, former Lightweight Champion Colin ‘Superman’ Lewis and former Middleweight silver medallist Dennis Thomas.
Guyana’s top teenage female boxers, the Jackman sisters, Abiola and Alesha, are making their first overseas trip. Alesha will battle in the Elite Junior Flyweight (49kg) division and her older sister Abiola in the Welterweight (69kg) division.
The other boxers are Mark Crawford (Youth Lightweight), Richard Howard (Youth Bantamweight) Julius Kesney (Bantamweight), Daren France (91kg Heavyweight), Kevin Hunte (Super Heavyweight), Emanuel Pompey (Middleweight 75kg) and Kevin McKenzie (Welterweight).
Some 21 nations are set to battle at the championships, including powerhouse Cuba, who have produced several World and Olympic champions.
This would be the first time that Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are expected to send boxers to the event and they are expected to make an impact.