Tokyo Olympics: Allicock to face De La Cruz of DR in Round-of-32
By Avenash Ramzan
Guyanese Keevin Allicock will have a golden opportunity to settle scores with Alexy Migue De La Cruz of the Dominican Republic as they were drafted against each other in the Round-of-32 in the Featherweight Division of the Tokyo Olympic Games, which gets underway with the opening ceremony on Friday (July 23).
Allicock and De La Cruz will clash on Saturday.
In 2019, the two were set for a quarter-final showdown at the Pan Am Games Qualifiers in Nicaragua, but the bout never materialised as the colour of Allicock’s vest was deemed inappropriate by the Fight Supervisor.
Allicock was subsequently disqualified, with De La Cruz copping victory by walkover.
The Guyanese, ranked 19 in the world, was recently part of a three-week, high-level camp in Russia where he had an intense sparring session with De La Cruz, who is ranked seventh.
Allicock, 22, is the first Guyanese boxer to qualify for the Olympics, following in the footsteps of John Douglas at the 1996 Games.
“It’s an honour to be representing my country at such a major Games. I want to say thanks to everyone that has supported me, whether it’s an advice, whether it’s a cheque, a compliment; this really means a lot to me,” Allicock said before departure for the camp in Russia.
AIBA Three-Star coach, Sebert Blake, who has been in Allicock’s corner since he was 14, said qualification is a dream realised.
“I want to give Guyana some assurance that we’re going to try and do our utmost best, because for the last three years, myself, and Keevin especially, have been professing we have to go to Japan, we have to go to the Olympics. This was like a daily cry,” Blake expressed.
“It’s my dream also to coach a boxer to the Olympics, and it has come true.”
The Guyana Olympic Association and the Guyana Boxing Association apart, Allicock has received support from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, E-Networks and ANSA McAL Trading on the Olympic journey.
The aim of the youngster is to add to Guyana’s Olympic count, which stands at one- a bronze won by fellow boxer Michael Parris at the 1980 Moscow Games.