Nineteen-year-old Shemar Halley has been dominant in the intermediate boxing circles for the past few years. This year, at the Lennox Blackmore National Intermediates, the youngster showed why he was one of the best young prospects in boxing.
Having won the best boxer accolade at the tournament last year, which was hosted by the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GBA), Halley knew that all eyes would be on him as he entered the ring for his lightweight bout.
Even with expectations mounted against him, Halley was confident in his abilities. He breezed past his preliminary opponents in the earlier bouts, but the real challenge came when he met with Guyana Defence Force’s Jeremiah Jackman in the lightweight final.
Jackman almost had Halley, as he pressured the youngster to fight harder in the first round with a series of rapid shots. However, the youth bounced back to put on a blistering show in the final round.
Speaking about his victory, Halley was oozing gratitude for those who supported him on the journey.
“I’d like to thank God for this victory, because without God I could not have achieved this goal. Secondly, I’d like to thank my sponsor and F&P Sports,” he stated.
The extremely humble teenager commended his opponent for his efforts while praising the likes of Keevin Allicock for guiding him through the bout.
“He was a good competitor, but I had two good individuals in my corner – which is Keevin Allicock and Sebert Blake, my coach. He fought well; I can say it’s one of the hardest fights I ever had,” the youngster noted.
Halley explained how he had to ‘dig deep’ to make a comeback in the final round.
“Well, the third round was very important ‘cause during the first round, I took a lot of shots and I had to adjust. And because I did that, it abled my comeback so that I could be the victor in this match,” the eventual best boxer went on to explain.
In copping the lightweight title, Halley was adjudged the best elite boxer for the second year running. (Jemima Holmes)