Sun | Feb 16, 2020

Olympic hopefuls look to impress boxing judges

Published:Saturday | January 25, 2020 | 12:07 AMLeroy Brown/ Gleaner Writer

Boxers with their eyes on the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, in July will try to impress the judges tonight at the Stanley Couch gym at 34 Victoria Avenue, when they fight in the finals of the Jamaica Boxing Board’s National Senior Championships. Ten bouts are on the card, and the action starts at 8 o’clock.

The two preliminary nights of competition on Thursday and yesterday produced excellent boxing, and the presence of several Jamaican boxers from overseas in the competition, heightened interest among spectators, and improved the quality of the boxing that was on display. There will be eight finals tonight, six in the Elite category, and two in the Novice division for boxers with five fights and less.

A long anticipated clash between two of the island’s top featherweight boxers, Michael Shae from the Jamaica Defence Force and Sanji Williams from Bruising gym will undoubtedly be one of the night’s highlights. These are two very aggressive boxers, and they will, without doubt, be going after each other from the first bell. All-out offence will not work however, and the boxer who is best able to use his defensive skills to advantage will come out the victor. Stamina could well be the deciding factor, and the boxer who is fittest will have a distinct advantage.

The welterweight contest between defending champion Joshua Frazer who lives in Canada, and Jameer Edwards who fights out of Florida, should be another entertaining bout.

Sending a signal

Frazer had a good 2019, and won the welterweight title at the Caribbean Boxing Championships in Trinidad and Tobago, last December. This is his first tournament in 2020 and he has stated that he wants to send a signal early, and get on the team for the Olympic qualifiers in Argentina in March. A win for him tonight would enhance his selection chances.

Another defending champion, heavyweight Omar Campbell from Bruising gym, will try to fight off what is expected to be a good challenge from his unorthodox opponent Jermaine Richards from Stanley Couch gym, and fitness will be an important factor in this contest. Campbell likes the action at close range where his body shots can be most effective, while Richards is always on the move, and uses his jabs and the ring, to good effect. There will be an interesting battle for this title.