Local boxers make successful defence of Caribbean title
Cheered on by a band of vociferous supporters at the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue at the weekend, Guyana made a successful defence of the Winfield Braithwaite Caribbean School Boys and Junior Boxing Championship.
At the conclusion of the three-day activity, which featured young pugilists from five Caribbean nations, Guyana copped 11 gold medals, four silver and two bronze to emerge top of the pile.
It was Guyana’s sixth title at this level, underlining the country’s dominance in Caribbean age-group boxing.
Trinidad and Tobago finished second overall (four gold, six silver), followed by Barbados (five silver, one bronze), St. Lucia (one gold, three silver, one bronze) and Grenada (two gold, one silver, one bronze).
Guyana’s budding talent Shakquian James copped the prestigious Overall Best Fighter award, defeating Michel Medica of Trinidad and Tobago in the Youth Welterweight 60kg final.
James’ compatriots Tiquan Sampson, Leon Albert, Raheem Peters, Akeelah Vancooten and Matthew Thomas also delivered gold medal performances, much to the delight of the partisan supporters.
Summarised results from the final night
* Matthew Thomas (Guyana) defeated Wayne Castello (Guyana) – Youth 52kg final
* Kyle Marcel (St. Lucia) defeated Kaiden Weithers (Guyana)- Youth 75kg final
* Makieve Bellille (T&T) defeated Jaquan Grant (Barbados) – Schoolboys 57kg final
* Leon Albert (Guyana) defeated Jazari Narine Mayers (Barbados) – Youth Bantamweight Final
* Raheem Peters (Guyana) defeated Abishai Baptiste (Barbados) – Youth Light-welterweight – 63kg final
* John Didier (St. Lucia) defeated Joshua Lewis (T&T) – Youth Light Heavyweight 80kg final
* Akeelah Vancooten (Guyana) defeated Shania Nunez (T&T) – Junior Girls – 50kg final
* Tiquan Sampson (Guyana) defeated Prince Charles (T&T) – Junior Lightweight 60kg final
* Norddisha Williams (Grenada) defeated Tianna Moore (Guyana) – Youth Girls 80+kg final
* Shakquain James (Guyana) defeated Michel Medica (T&T) – Youth Welterweight 60kg final
Meanwhile, amateur boxing has been given a significant boost with the influx of a cadre of new officials, following a successful workshop conducted by Trinidad and Tobago’s Three-Star Referees/Judges Assessor, James Beckles.
Beckles, the only Three-Star Referee/Judge Assessor in the English-speaking Caribbean, administered and supervised an intermediary workshop as well as a beginner forum.
The new officials were given an opportunity to function in various capacities at the championship, displaying their new-found knowledge under the guidance of Beckles.
“The good thing about it is that they came in fresh, so they had no baggage. They were fresh faces, fresh way of thinking,” Beckles said.
President of the Guyana Boxing Association, Steve Ninvalle, speaking to media operatives at the conclusion of the championship hailed the Government of Guyana and the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr. for their support in helping to execute the event.
“This is the only of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean, and this is our Junior and School Boys Olympics,” Ninvalle said.
This year’s event attracted the largest participation ever, with five countries represented as compared to the previous highest of four.
Ninvalle promised a bigger championship in 2024, with boxers from The Bahamas expected to join their counterparts from the other five nations.