‘COOLIE BULLY’: ‘Fighting in Guyana gives me goosebumps’
By Avenash Ramzan
Every athlete could relate to the pride and joy of representing one’s country. Standing tall on the podium, basking in glory, paying homage to the nation’s flag and reciting the words of the anthem are the stuff you dream off as a sportsman/woman.
For boxer Elton ‘Coolie Bully’ Dharry it’s a reality he has embraced, as he continues his journey to conquer the world by setting a pathway to becoming Guyana’s next world champion.
The USA-based 118-pounder, who is the reigning WBC CABOFE, IBF Inter-Continental and Guyana Bantamweight champion, has returned to the land of his birth to showcase his fistic prowess on this Saturday’s six-fight boxing card, dubbed ‘Sangre Malo’ or ‘Bad Blood.’
Unbeaten in his last 18 fights and with a record of 21-5-1, Dharry will fight in Guyana for the first time since February 2016, and his opponent would be Venezuelan Jesus Gregorio Vargas Garcia (16-10-1) in an eight-round Bantamweight contest at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
“I have goosebumps right now,” Dharry told News Room moments after arriving in Guyana for this weekend’s showdown.
He continued, “I had goosebumps when I landed at the airport knowing I’m coming home, coming back to the place I was born, the place I had my first fight. I have people messaging me all the time, telling me how proud and how excited they are, and I just don’t want to disappoint. I’m going to show up and do everything in my power to win.”
Widely known as someone who doesn’t engage much in pre-fight jousting, Dharry is opting to stick to a formula that has churned out the desired result.
“I really don’t say too much. I always show up and handle business. That’s how I’ve been doing it, that’s how I want to continue to do it. If anyone says anything it’s the people around me who usually puts it out there, but that’s how I am going to stay true to myself and who I am,” Dharry reasoned.
A son of Essequibo- Leguan to be specific, Dharry, whose last defeat was in 2009, said while he’s mindful of his opponent’s exploits, he is fully prepped for whatever is thrown at him.
“I always prepare hard to come home and fight. I don’t want to disappoint myself or my people here so I prepare myself well and I prepare to win. I’ve seen my opponent; he’s an aggressive guy, but you know I’m prepared for whatever he brings and I expect a good fight, a good win,” the pugilist stated.
Dharry’s trainer is the former Guyana professional boxer of the 1970s and 80s, Lennox Blackmoore, who said his protégé has been training rigorously at Gleason’s Gym in USA in preparation for this contest and an impending world title shot.
“You got to train for boxing, there is no excuse. Dharry is well prepared. He had over 56 rounds of boxing, preparing for this fight. Right now he’s looking for a world title shot and he’s fighting towards that right now, so he’s well prepared,” Blackmoore contended.
Labelling Garcia “a good fighter”, Blackmoore said while both fighters are on the path to a world title shot, it is Dharry who would prevail on Saturday, given that he’s “a better fighter.”
While Dharry is on a winning streak since 2009, Garcia’s career has been on the downturn. He has won just two of his last nine fights.
In the feature event, Dexter ‘The Kid’ Marques, the reigning CABOFE and Guyana Flyweight champion, will square off with Dionis Alberto Martinez Arias of Venezuela in a 10-round Flyweight contest.
Arias has six wins, nine losses and two drawn encounters, while Marques currently has a record of 16-2-0, and is unbeaten in his last eight fights. Marques’ last defeat was against compatriot Dharry in May 2011.
This fight is seen as a warm-up for Marques for his Commonwealth title shot against Jay Harris of Wales on March 31 at the Copperbox Arena. Marques is the mandatory challenger for Harris, who is the current Commonwealth Flyweight title holder. That fight is being promoted by Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions.
In the main supporting action, Sheldon Lawrence of Trinidad and Tobago will put his WBC Fecarbox Light Heavyweight title on the line against Guyanese Shawn Corbin, while hometown boy Dexter Gonsalves will face Felipe Larez Barcelo of Venezuela in a 10-round Lightweight contest.
Debutant James Moore will face Anderson Emmanuel of Barbados in a four-rough Heavyweight showdown and local boy Anson Green is set to take on Keithland King of Barbados in a four-round Junior Middleweight contest.
Tickets are on sale at the Giftland Stores and Assuria General Insurance offices in Georgetown, Diamond, Berbice, Parika and Vreed-en-Hoop. Tickets cost $4,000 (VIP), $2,000 (Ringside) and $1,000 (Stands).
The first fight will start at 19:00h.