YOUTH boxer Tarique Hosein began TTO' s streak of gold with his victory over Grenadian Henry Sylvester on the penultimate night of the Caribbean Boxing Championships at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Guyana.
The Sangre Grande-based boxer was patient, displaying good skills and ending with a big third round flurry to bring in the first gold of the night.
Soon after, another youth, Tyron Thomas, continued his impressive form and defeated Guyanese Jevon Thomas. Tyron, who fights with a maturity beyond his 18 years, was a cool customer against his opponent who began swinging hard and fast in the 3rd round. Tyron used clever footwork and clean concise combinations to easily take the gold.
The team stumbled a little when junior boxer Ortega Jukhu lost to Richard Howard of Guyana. The pinweight youngster fought his heart out as he continued punching forward despite being issued two eight counts. His effort fell short and he had to settle for the silver medal.
Juan Rodriguez had the crowd in awe as he delivered the best left hooks of the tournament thus far. He immediately went to work against Francis Sukhu, stunning the Guyanese with the devastating punches. Sukhu held on and showed a lot of grit but many questioned the decision of the referee to not stop the bout. Rodriguez even looked at the referee after he knew he had hurt his opponent badly. But as the ref waved him on, he delivered another four hooks, all landing cleaning. Two eight counts were issued to Sukhu, but the bout went to the scorecards, with Rodriguez winning by unanimous decision.
2017 Caribbean Schoolboys and Junior Boxing gold medallist, Nyrell Hosein, was poetry in motion to look at, as he defeated Romeo Christopher of Guyana in a classy display of skills, ringcraft and all-round superior boxing. The junior boxer, touted as a mini-Michael Alexander, lived up to his mentor's name as he dismissed the commendable effort of Christopher and brought in another gold for TTO.
Following with another big win was junior lightweight, Blessings Waldropt, who also defended his 2017 title. Waldropt possesses one of the most awkward styles, but used it cleverly to maintain full control of his bout against an aggressive Mark Crawford. The Guyanese tried hard to land his punches, but the TTO boxer was too slick and neatly ran circles around him. Even a point deduction did not stop Waldropt from taking another gold for Team TTO.
The winnings continued when Denzil Massy made a strong start against Guyanese Emmanuel Pompey. As the bout went on, Massy dominated with powerful right hands, one which floored Pompey in the 3rd round. Pompey got up on shaky legs but was saved by the bell.
The evening anti-climaxed somewhat as the TTO suffered three consecutive defeats with their novice boxers. However, the display of heart, grit and determination was encouraging for the TT coaches. Jamill Joseph never stopped punching after getting off to a fast start vs Kevin McKenzie, with the referee issuing an eight count to his Guyanese opponent. It was a blistering pace and the Guyanese changed tactics in last round, presented a more difficult target. Guyana took gold in that bout.
Novice boxer Junior Cornwall gave a good account of himself but was outclassed by Guyana's Damon Shakeal. The shorter Shakeal walked down Cornwall, landing power shots to the head and body. The Guyanese seemed clearly more experienced boxer but it was a valiant effort by Cornwall.
Nile Mohammed tried to bring it back for TT, pressing the action against a slippery Murray Alex of Guyana. Alex was patient, however, and scored the cleaner punches more frequently. Mohammed never gave up and even made a last minute gallant effort, rushing in with a barrage of punches. However, he had to settle for silver.