Wed | Dec 6, 2023
The Classics

Jamaican boxer saved by the bell

Published:Friday | September 22, 2023 | 5:33 AM
Wendell Spencer, middleweight boxer, is seen receiving medical attention from Dr Stuart Gray (centre in glasses) after he was floored at the National Arena on Sunday night, September 14, 1975, by Lionel Cameron. Cameron won the fight on points. However, the knockdown came near the end of the round and the bell came with the count at three, ending the fight. In other fights, Leslie Mothersill beat Beresford Small and Roy Lee beat Frank Ferguson.

A crowd of just over a thousand spectators assembled to witness the bout between Saoul Mamby and Percy Hayles. The abbreviated fight proved to be highly entertaining, with Mamby showcasing his remarkable speed and control of the ring. Hayles had limited opportunities to mount a counterattack and was ultimately spared when the referee recognised his overwhelming disadvantage in the ninth round.

published Monday, September, 15, 1975 1975

Sorry showing by Commonwealth title contender

Mamby batters Hayles

Local hope lose by TKO

Gleaner Sports Reporter 

JAMAICA gained a new boxing idol last night. He is Saoul Mamby, the 25-year-old American junior welterweight, who gave one of the most scintillating performances seen in a local ring, while defeating former Commonwealth lightweight boxing champion Percy Hayles on an eighth round tko at the National Arena last night.

Mamby, who calls himself a "Jamerican", since his parents are Jamaicans, completely outclassed Hayles who won only one round, the second on the Gleaner scorecard.

A check of the official scorecards revealed that Mamby was clearly ahead and that Hayles could only have won at that stage if he knocked out his man.

But the likelihood of that happening was remote. Mamby was in full control and his rapid-fire jabbing, sharp hooking and effective short uppercuts had Hayles completely on the defensive.

It was obvious watching these two boxers train over the past few weeks, that last night Hayles would be depending on power and Mamby on his speed of hands and feet for victory. This was exactly how the picture unfolded last night. But while Hayles could not find a target to hit, as the shifty, fast-moving Mamby was always out of reach, Hayles in turn could find nowhere in the ring to keep himself out of trouble.

Mamby found his range time and again, and Hayles had a steady tattoo of jabs hitting him from all angles. He could not find the answers to the problems posed by Mamby, and as the fight progressed he got more confused.

In the fifth round he tried to keep the action close and get his own uppercuts on target but the wily American would have nothing of it and kept himself in full control. From the third round, Mamby started to put the squeeze on Hayles, who needed a victory badly to keep his stocks high on the international boxing scene and Hayles tried gamely to fight back.

Mamby, whose speedy hands kept pouring punches on his rival from all angles, kept getting more confident as the fight progressed, and he put Hayles on the canvas in this round.

The Jamaican did not seem to be hurt, however, and there were some persons at ringside who thought it could have been a slip rather then being down from a punch.

Mamby became increasingly confident from this stage on and in the sixth round, his trainer Lee Black gave him orders to "go and get him now".

The small crowd, estimated at 1,300, which was on hand will never forget the display put on by this youngster who went into the ring with only 28 fights behind him. He hit his man, moved before the counter punch could be released and then was in again like a flash with his combinations to body and head, Hayles looked mesmerised.

The pressure was kept on in the seventh and Hayles continued to deteriorate and the pattern was the same going into the eighth. Near the end of the round, Hayles had taken so much punishment that he was obviously ready to give up, so he held on to Mamby "for dear life".

Referee Speedy Flynn tried to break him loose, but failed and realising the situation, he stopped the bout at that stage and ruled that Mamby was the winner at 2.43 of the round. The crowd applauded loudly and for several minutes afterwards, Mamby was receiving congratulations. He was lifted shoulder high from the ring.

For feedback: contact the Editorial Department at