Bruising gym takes top honours
Stony Hill's Bruising gym, coached by Carl Grant, took top honours in the Jamaica Boxing Board's National Senior Championships, held recently at the Stanley Couch gym on Victoria Avenue.
These were the 2015 Championships, which should have been held in December but were postponed.
Bruising gym scored 14 points in the Elite section of the championships, edging the 2014 champions the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), 12, and then picked up another four points in the novice section of the championships. Third was the Stanley Couch gym with six, and fourth, Seaview gym with five.
In the novice section of the championships, for boxers with less than five bouts, Sav Boxing Academy took top honours with eight points from Stanley Couch's seven, Sugar Olympic third with six and St Thomas fourth with five.
Grant took the award for outstanding coach, middleweight champion Daine Smikle won the outstanding male boxer award, Nyoka Hewitt won the outstanding female boxer award, and Joshua Forrest-Barrett was named the outstanding novice boxer.
The standard of boxing on display was only average, and a lot of work will have to take place in the various gyms this year to bring the boxers up to international standard. There were a few promising boxers, however. The classiest and most promising boxer in the tournament was Daine Smikle, who lives in the United States and is coached by his father Gary Smikle, a former local amateur boxer champion, who also had a good career as a professional. In the novice class, middleweight Forrest-Barrett stood out.
Smikle pulled off a big upset when he dethroned middleweight champion Janathan Hanson in the semi-finals and then disposed of Seaview gym's Nick Reid by a technical knockout because of injury in the finals. Defending welterweight champion Kestna Davis, coming back from a long break because of an injury, had a close call in his semi-final against Canadian boxer Joshua Frazer, who pushed him all the way. Davis won that fight by split decision. In the final he looked much better and won by a unanimous decision over Kevonna Willis of the JDF.
In other finals in the elite class, lightweight Ricardo Carter from G.C. Foster defeated Patrick Sahadeo of the JDF; female super heavyweight Sashagaye Fowler from Bruising defeated Jasmine Graham from Stanley Couch by a technical knockout in round one; light welterweight Damion Wiliams from the JDF defeated Bruising's Damion Fuller, and light heavyweight Ian Darby from the JDF defeated England-based Reece Shagourie on points by a split decision.