AFTER walking out
on the Axe Anarchy/National Amateur Boxing Championship at the Stanley Couch Gym on Saturday with three bouts remaining on
the card, Carl Grant, coach
of Bruising Gym, said
referee Peter Richards was right to stop the Open middleweight fight between Michael Gardener and Jonathan Hanson.
Grant insists his decision to walk away from the championship was in the best interest of the event and for the safety of his boxers.
He pointed out that if he had not stepped in when he did to quell the rising tension between members of his team and patrons from the surrounding Southside community, violence could have broken out and people would have been hurt.
He said he would do the same thing if a similar situation should arise again.
The turn of events started when Hanson rattled Gardener in the third round of their three-round bout. The referee paused the fight to administer the mandatory eight-count rule, after which Gardener still appeared dazed, which gave the match official little choice but to stop the contest.
Gardener, however, was obviously upset by the decision and threw his gloves and headgear to the canvas, which incited his supporters to
also voice their disapproval of the decision.
A drink bottle was subsequently thrown into the ring from a section of the crowd, which enraged other patrons, who proceeded to confront the alleged offenders.
However, Grant was quick to intervene and squash the matter, but noted that tempers were still flying and the sensible thing to do at that stage was to vacate the venue with those for whom he was responsible.
"After the decision (on the fight) was made, someone threw a bottle in the ring... and it seemed to come from the Bruising Gym's side," Grant told the Jamaica Observer.
".. Some guys from Southside were upset about the bottle and came over to our side with their knives and such... so I had to run over and hold onto the Southside guys who recognised me and responded very respectfully.
"To stop the championship from being destroyed and any of my people from getting hurt, I decided to just take my people and leave... because there
was going to be an outbreak
of violence between our supporters and the Southside guys," Grant added.
He said after reviewing the tape of the fight between Gardener and Hanson, he was convinced the referee had made the correct decision to stop the fight.
"All the boxers came to my house on Sunday, including Michael, and I showed them the tape and that Michael was out... so the referee had made a good decision. But most people never really saw what happened at the time, including me," he said.
Meanwhile, general secretary of the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control (JBBC), Leroy Brown, said disciplinary action will be meted out to Gardener, but said they will allow the Bruising Gym to explain their decision to walk out before deciding on the course of action to be taken.
Stanley Couch retained the championship they won last year after topping the standings with 18 points, four more than Bruising Gym and six ahead Tiger Gym, who finished third with 12 points.
Stanley Couch had
five winners on the night, including females novice champions Nyoka Hewitt (light weight) and Neisha Gaye McLean (featherweight).
Ronaldo Rattray and Jevaughn Panton were also winners in the novice class, winning the welterweight and middleweight titles, respectively.
Dukey Rowe won his Open heavyweight bout without throwing a punch after his opponent, Dwayne Blake of the Bruising Gym, failed to show.
Bruising Gym's only victory on the night came courtesy of Kestna Davis in the Open middleweight contest, while Tiger Gym had three winners in the Open class.
Toriana Nicholas won the lightweight title, Hanson the middleweight crown and Cerani Clarke the heavyweight title.
Kemhal Lewis of Sugar gym claimed the light-heavyweight Open crown, Alistair Walsh of GC Foster landed the Super heavyweight novice title and Sean Whilby of Heavy Metal took the novice heavyweight.
Ronald Rowe of HardKnocks captured the light welterweight novice crown and Simon Gayle of Boys' Town the lightweight novice title. Hanson was voted the most outstanding boxer of the tournament.
The JBBC will host an awards ceremony in January to present the various winners with their trophies and medals.