Commonwealth Games: Eyebrows raised as Allicock, Amsterdam exit before medal stage

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Guyana’s 32-year wait for another boxing medal at the Commonwealth Games was extended when Guyana’s Keevin Allicock and Desmond Amsterdam were at the receiving end of questionable decisions in their Featherweight and Middleweight Quarter-Finals, a release from the Guyana Olympic Association stated on Wednesday.

The release further stated that spectators at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Boxing Hall were bemused following the split decision in favour of Canada’s Keoma-Ali Al-Ahmadieh against Allicock.

In an entertaining Featherweight Quarter-Finals at the Commonwealth Games, Allicock and Al-Ahmadieh entered the third and final round 1 – 1, after the judges from Scotland, Australia, Hungary, Italy, Germany and Malaysia, scored round one for the Canadian and the second for the Guyanese.

However, at the end of the third, Allicock, based on his performance, felt he did enough to convince the judges to send him through.

In the end, all five judges handed the Canadian the final round and the fight 10-9 on the scorecards; much to the disappointment of the crowd at the arena that voiced their disapproval of the result.

“I was disappointed because I know I won the fight; not that I thought,” an obviously upset Allicock said following his bout.

“The first round was supposed to be scored unanimously, I went back into my corner with confidence.

The second round, was a draw and in the last round he didn’t do much, plus he was getting a lot of warnings; he wasn’t hitting me and I showed that I was a better boxer. I know the judges’ decision is final, but I’m not pleased with it” Allicock expressed.

The 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games silver medallist, who became the first boxer since John Douglas in 1996 to qualify for the Olympics, has been at the short end of some questionable results in his amateur career.

Asked about being weary of his results, said he’s not frustrated, but certainly disappointed, “I really wanted to take it home to my country (Guyana) and show everyone that I’m here, but unfortunately it didn’t happen, so I guess I just have to continue working and come again.”

Take a bow! Keevin Allicock had a good showing at the 2022 Commonwealth Games

Allicock’s coach, Sebert Blake said they will have to live with the decision but was happy that his boxer was able to showcase his new fighting style at the second-largest multi-sport event (after the Olympic Games).

“This is the new Keevin, where he’s using his skills to outclass his opponents and we get it right in terms of the first two bouts, but now in the third, where we’re fighting for a medal, we were not able to convince the judges. But most people in the arena saw what was done in the entire bout, and it was just amazing that the decision was against him,” Blake said.

The Forgotten Youth Foundation coach pointed to patience, noting “you can see Keevin moving from one level, to the next and showing improvement. I think 2024 (Olympics) is and if we keep Keevin and other guys together, and give them the competition and the regular international exposure, I think things will turn in our favour.”

Meanwhile, Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Sergeant, Amsterdam, was not happy with this second-round stoppage defeat to Australian Callum Peters in the Men’s Middleweight quarter-finals.

It was an exciting contest from the first bell, as the two slugged it out throughout. Amsterdam, at the time the fight was stopped, was receiving his second standing-eight count.

Fighting at his first Commonwealth Games with the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC) Elite Championship Bronze Medallist said he felt good in the fight while the two traded punches, “when I got the first eight-count, I didn’t feel anything. It’s just that I was weak on my defence, so I got an unexpected punch, but the second eight-count, It’s not supposed to go that way because both of trading punches and both of connecting.”

Desmond Amsterdam

Nonetheless, Amsterdam said he enjoyed his first games while being adamant about doing better at his next chance given.

Guyana will now have to wait another four years (2026 Australia) to replicate Bantamweight Wesley Christmas’ 1990 Bronze Medal or emulate Lightweight Winfield Braithwaite’s 1978 Gold Medal performance since those were the last two to win boxing medals for Guyana at the former British Empire Games.

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