Stanley Couch are new national boxing champions

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

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The curtains came down on the three-day Jamaica Boxing Board's National Championship at the Stanley Couch Gym in Kingston last Saturday with the host gym taking back the champion gym title from Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) who held it for the past two years.

There were eight finals on Saturday. Overall, there were nine finals during the championship, with the first one decided last Thursday night due to the low number of entries in the novice lightweight class.

Stanley Couch ended with three titles, JDF with two, G C Foster with two, and Repton and Bruising both had one each.

National coach Richard “Shrimpy” Clarke was pleased with winning back the champion gym title. He said “the guys really put in the work quietly, 'cause they really wanted it and we are here to assist them to get there”. He was also pleased that the gym was refurbished. He felt that it will help to motivate the boxers to perform even better.

JDF copped the most disciplined award, while Robert Napier of St Thomas bagged the most outstanding coach award. Emron Hall of G C Foster, took home the novice champion award and Omar Campbell of Bruising Gym was adjudged the best open champion.

The final night saw some exciting bouts led by the matchup between Rayon Sinclair of JDF and Omar Campbell of Bruising Gym in the heavyweight class. It was action-packed from start to finish. Campbell prevailed in a unanimous decision.

The shortest contest ended at 2.27 minutes in the first round after three knock-downs. JDF boxer Frank McKenzie was no match for G C Foster's Ricardo Brown (Big Twelve) in a super heavyweight matchup.

The most impressive soldier on the night was Ian Darby (light heavyweight) who saw only one round of action after Yovan Panton of St Thomas failed to answer the bell for the second round. He said “as the senior boxer, the experienced boxer I had to stamp my class. The name and the intent is the impact and that is my nickname – Ian “the Impact” Darby.” He now has44 wins and seven losses.

Experienced boxer in the middleweight division, Jonathan Hanson of the Stanley Couch Gym went the distance with Alando Lewis of Heavy Metal Gym for a split-decision win. Hanson said “it was a very hard fight. This was the third time facing Alando Lewis and the third time mi beat him. He came well prepared cause he sees my style, but I came better prepared in terms of fitness and a game plan and it showed in the ring.”

Two of the three overseas-based boxers — Joshua Fraser (Canada) and Shiloh DeFreitas (UK) bagged the welterweight and lightweight titles, respectively. Fraser defeated Kevanna Willis by way of split decision, while DeFreitas stopped Sanji Willis in an exciting match-up in which all three judges gave him the win.

According to Fraser, “tonight I got to fight a guy from the JDF. He was one of the fitter fighters, I could see out there right now, [also] one of the more ready fighters so he did well but I guess I was more ready tonight. I had a lot more fun tonight than last night. As you see I had some cuts; I got about three cuts. It feels good to be victorious again and be the champion again.”

Many-time champion boxer Ricardo Carter, who moved up in weight class to light welterweight, could not get the better of the stronger, fitter JDF boxer Damion Williams. That bout ended in a split decision in Williams' favour.

Emron Hall, the G C Foster novice champion, ended Trevor McKnight's good run at the championship to register his first novice welterweight title with a unanimous decision.

The championship saw boxers entering from several gyms in numerous parishes including the Corporate Area, St Catherine, St Thomas, St Mary and Westmoreland.

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