Dharry wins slugfest with Penalba; Marques suffers defeat
By Avenash Ramzan
With the full backing of a massive crowd that included President Irfaan Ali and Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr. viewing from ringside, Guyanese Elton Dharry survived a brutal final round attack from Orlando Penalba of Panama to win the WBC International Super Flyweight title by Unanimous Decision.
The main fight on the ‘Road to Redemption’ boxing card on Saturday night ended before a heavy downpour cut short the celebrations of the partisan crowd, who earlier in the evening had to take in homeboy Dexter Marques’ defeat to Gilberto Pedroza, also of Panama.
As the patrons scurried out of the National Stadium, a bruised Dharry walked back gingerly to his locker room, winded by not only the ruthless effort by Penalba, but the demands that came with doubling as a promoter on this card.
He was leading the contest at the end of the fourth and eighth rounds and it needed something special for Penalba to secure the win.
Sensing he needed a knockdown to secure the title, Dharry’s diminutive opponent went on the offensive from onset of the 10th and final round, forcing the US-based Guyanese to take evasive action.
Such was Penalba’s onslaught that Dharry dropped to the canvas on three occasions, throwing the Stadium into silence. But, he rose back to his feet on every occasion and even managed to land a few telling blows at the tailend of the contest.
The judges’ scores read 97-92, 94-93, 99-92 in favour of Dharry.
“I made things a little harder on myself (by being a promoter),” Dharry told News Room Sport after the fight.
“I heard everything my trainer said…everything they said was correct, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. My mind was not fully focused on what needed to be done. I think I learnt a valuable lesson tonight to step back from promotion while fighting.”
“I (usually) perform 10 times better than what I did tonight. Everyone who knows me or has seen me in training, they know what type of performance I bring and you have to really be at an elite level to really give me any type of trouble.”
In the main supporting bout, Marques was outboxed by a more physical and attacking Pedroza, who took the fight to the Guyanese.
Pedroza was especially effective and dominant with his left, using it to good effect.
While Marques did manage to find his feet at different stages of the 10-rounder, Pedroza was more relentless and consistent, in the process winning the key moments.