Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
Exciting boxing, especially in the heavier weight classes, was on display as the curtain came down on the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control's National Senior Open Championships, which took place at Stanley Couch Gym on Victoria Avenue in Kingston last Friday and Saturday nights.
Defending champions Stanley Couch Gym came out victorious with 17 points, followed by Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), 15, Bruising Gym (11), G.C. Foster (six), Tiger (five), Boys' Town and Heavy Metal (three each), and St Thomas Boxing Club, Sugar Olympic gym and Seaview gym (one each).
The JDF, trained by Gilbert Vaz - a former Jamaica boxing representative - were in contention up to the final bout when super heavyweight Dukey Rowe from Stanley Couch and Andre Reid from the army came into the ring. But Rowe used his jabs to get the better of Reid in a close contest that gave his team victory.
Michael Gardener from Stanley Couch, who was named the outstanding boxer of the tournament, gave a good display of skill to finish ahead of the army's Graffique King, who pressed him all the way. Gardener suffered a cut over his left eye in the preliminary round of competition and had to be careful not to get it reopened in the final. He did this with good defensive work and used his jabs frequently to score points.
Light heavyweight Chevon Clarke, a 22-year-old Jamaican now living in London, was impressive. He showed a lot of power with both hands in defeating Jonathan Hanson from Tiger Gym.
Other boxers who won titles were bantamweight Nicholas Walker from the JDF, who defeated Andre McKenzie from Heavy Metal on points; lightweight Patrick Sahadeo from the JDF, who scored a majority decision over Bruising Gym's Damion Fuller; Stanley Couch's Anthony Clarke, who took the light welterweight title by defeating Andre Gray from Boys' Town; welterweight Kestna Davis from Bruising Gym, who outpointed Camion Goldson from Stanley Couch; and heavyweight Allaystair Walsh from the G.C. Foster Gym, who scored the night's only knockout, against Cerena Clarke from Tiger Gym, at two minutes, 59 seconds of the first round.
Stanley Couch Gym was awarded the Dickie Coke Memorial Trophy for being the champion gym, and the JDF won the Kingsley Goodison Trophy for being the most disciplined team. Vaz was voted Trainer of the Year for his work with the JDF team.