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MORE THAN GOLD

MORE THAN GOLD

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Earning two gold medals at OECS Boxing hampionships last weekend in St. Lucia turned out to be the highlight of this country’s participation of the revived sub regional activity.{{more}}

But the medals were worth more than their weight in gold, since preparations for the weekend’s competition were done without a boxing ring, and in the open air under the canopy at the Bishop’s College, Kingstown!

When Lorenzo Duncan stepped into the ring at the competition venue, the Dame Pearlette Louisy School Auditorium, it was the first time he was entering in a squared circle. At the end of his two fights, he was the OECS Heavy weight champion.

Duncan, 18, and with just ten months in the sport, disposed of Grenadian Roydon Dowden in their semi final match up. In

the decisive fight, Duncan forced his Dominican

opponent Shannon Roberts to retire.

Recounting his achievement, Duncan told SEARCHLIGHT, “I felt great. I couldn’t believe”.

One who likes adventurous activities, Duncan said he tried the Cadet Force and Rugby, but they did not give him what he was looking for, until he ventured into Boxing under a year ago.

He plans to go as far as the sport can take him, and the limitations of the resources of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The other gold medal winner Jahziel Lewis’ entry into Boxing was in November 2005. But his feat of winning the Light Welter weight title, was more than a triumph, as he whipped his opponent, who is twice his age.

Lewis, aged 17, outpointed his namesake Joel Lewis, 34, in the title fight. The Grenadian, according to reports, has been fighting for the past 13 years, and has received training in Cuba and other places.

Happy that he gained a gold medal, Lewis believed that he did not perform the way he is capable of, but thought that his namesake did not have much to offer, as “he was only charging me”.

This was Lewis’ first major outing, having previously participated in exhibition bouts in Trinidad and Tobago.

Lewis, en route to become the title holder, defeated Sunil Floront of Dominica. The Dominican retired in the third of the four round event.

Coach of the team, Cavanaugh Gumbs, was high in praise of his charges, in light of the restrictive facilities. The former St. Vincent and the Grenadines boxer, who won gold medals at the OECS championships in the Light weight, Middle and Light Middle, whilst accepting the achievement of the two boxers, thought that the input of Junior Assing was paramount.

Gumbs revealed that it was Assing who put in most of the work with the boxers, as work commitments restricted his attendance at training sessions. The Vincentian contingent also comprised two boxers, N-Zie’ Preddie ,who unsuccessfully fought in the Middleweight, and Kevin Lewis in the Light weight.

Both lost their semifinal bouts.

St.Vincent and the Grenadines recorded nine points and took the cellar position. Dominica, with sixteen points, topped the championships. Grenada took second place with thirteen points, and St. Lucia, third, with twelve points. With the momentum gained, St. Vincent and the Grenadines should host a team of boxers from Trinidad and Tobago on a reciprocal visit towards the end of December. By this time, the local boxing organisation will be in possession of a boxing ring. This much needed piece of equipment should also arrive in time for a National Olympic Boxing Course set for December 17-21. (RT)

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