The Guyanese boxing team were the ones celebrating as the curtains came down on the Winfield Brathwaite Caribbean Schoolboys and Juniors boxing tournament on Sunday night, after three nights of grueling competitions.
The celebrations were a tribute to Guyana’s fourth consecutive overall victory in the rapidly growing Caribbean tournament.
However, prior to the festivities, a number of deciding bouts were still on the cards for Sunday night, featuring boxers from Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Cayman Islands, Grenada and St. Lucia.
The fight of the night was without a doubt the lone female encounter on the cards between Guyanese Alisha Jackman and Trinidad and Tobago’s Shirley Wolfe. While the fans were eager to witness the female fight, they were not prepared for what Jackman had in store for her 52kg Junior Women’s bout.
From the sound of the first bell Jackman let loose a series of punches, much like a pocket rocket, surprising her opponent. The blitz was enough to not only shock but unravel Wolfe within seconds of the fight’s start. Thereafter, Jackman continued to land powerful blow after blow, which led to the match referee stopping the encounter just a little over a minute, in the first round.
The victory sealed the deal for the Guyanese girl, who copped the best female boxer for the second year in a row.
Emmanuel Pompey was another conqueror in the ring for Guyana. Personifying the Guyanese phrase ‘small axe does cut down big tree’, Pompey was not fazed by his opponent in the 81+kg Juniors bout, who appeared to be larger in stature than the Guyanese. With a few lusty blows from the jump, Pompey was able to rattle Cayman Island’s Deshane Vousden in the first round. However, his victory came 1 minute and fifty seconds into the second round, after the referee halted the bout.
Similarly to the excitement of the final bout on the second night of competition, (Saturday last), the final bout on Sunday evening was a thrilling one, which left spectators divided on who the winner would be. In the 60kg Juniors fight, Juan Rodriguez of the twin Island Republic took on Guyana’s Patrick Harvey.
While Harvey’s agility gave him the edge in the first round, Rodriguez made it even in the second by combating with speed and determination. With the decision left up to the third round, Harvey made a case of punishing his opponent for the eventual victory. Patrick Harvey was later adjudged as the best Junior Boxer.
Also in the winner’s row on Sunday evening were Guyanese Richard Howard after he faced off with St. Lucia’s Kishone Pierre in the 52kg Youth bout and T&T’s Nyrel Hosein, who defeated Travis Inverary of Guyana. St Lucia had their revenge when Gilchris Medard used his lanky stature and long reach to get the better of Wayne Castillo in a controversial decision.
Owing to the high medal count of the Guyanese contingent, Guyana emerged as the Caribbean School Boys Juniors Champion for the fourth year in a row. Trinidad and Tobago were the runner ups, while St. Lucia copped the third position. Also in special prizes, Aljalle Jokhu of T&T was awarded the Best boxer prize for the Schoolboys division.
Reflecting on the three nights of competition which were hosted at the Cliff Anderson’s Sports Hall, one of the team’s coaches, Sebert Blake beamed with pride at Guyana’s achievement.
“The guys worked, they proved that they are the best in the Caribbean so I would give them an A+ now,” he proudly stated.