Boxing returns with 'Fight Night on Olympic Way'

By Sports Desk June 16, 2022

Competitive boxing will return to the local sporting landscape with an event dubbed 'Fight Night on Olympic Way' scheduled for this Saturday at 7:00 pm when the Sugar Knockout Boxing Gym will come alive at the Cling Cling Oval in Olympic Gardens. 

The well-stocked fight card includes amateurs, females, and a professional match-up.  

The Sugar Knockout Gym was also launched at its newest location - the Cling Cling football Oval, home of former Reggae Boy, Ian Pepe Goodison, who is president of the football club and supported the boxing gym taking up residency on the top floor of the clubhouse. 

former boxer Lindel Wallace started the gym in 2008 as a way to give back to the young people in his community. 

"I was a boxer.  I trained at Tinson Pen first then Archmore, then I left from Archmore to go to Liberty Hall on King Street, then I left from Liberty Hall when Liberty Hall was destroyed and went to Race Course at Guinness Gym. Boxing is my life and what I love," Wallace said. 

“Well, I boxed for a couple of years before turning professional.  I love boxing so much that when I was done with it, I said I have to really turn into a coach. The first guys that I trained were (Khamal) Russell, (Dwayne) Rose, and Chad Richards.  Russell came out as a champion.  Chad Richards came out as a champion," he added. 

Regarding the gym's current location, Wallace said, "I feel good about it because for a long time I was asking for a place to call home and now I have it.  I need to improve more with my fighters."  He also said that Digicel, UK-based Jamaican Shania Gordon, and the Jamaica Boxing Association provided financial support to upgrade the gym and equipment to stock it. 

Vice President of the gym Felipe Sanchez spoke about the impact he wants the gym to have on the community.

"I have been involved in boxing in Jamaica for over four years. In total, boxing has been a part of my life for over fifteen years, and coming here to the boxing gym in Suga's Knockout Gym, it’s been wonderful to see the sense of community that has been built,” Sanchez said. 

“The youth has built a sense of pride.  We don't just teach them boxing; we teach them responsibility, so for me to see them grow as persons it brings me a lot of pride. For example, we have a club captain weekly who has to make sure that the gym is clean, the lights are turned off, the water is not running, and that the gloves are all accounted for, so this will help them at the end of the day because if boxing doesn't go well, you have to fall back on something else and the perfect transferable skills that you get from boxing can help you. We want to make champions in the ring and also in life," he added.

President of the Jamaica Boxing Association Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones also shared his thoughts on the developments.

"I am very, very pleased.  Very excited.  We are encouraged by what I saw today, by what we knew would be coming, and by what we know to be coming Saturday,” he said.

“The return of the sport has been long overdue but everything in its time.  What I like most is that the card represents all levels, from the grassroots level to our elite national representative to a pro fight on the same night so the community will see boxing at a very high level.  Most importantly is the return to the sport so this is not a one-off," Jones added. 

He said that the fight card includes eight amateur bouts inclusive of one female matchup, and one pro bout between Jamaica's Headley 'Lights Out' Scott and Mexico's Israel Rojas.  Two of the boxers, one male and one female will come in from the recently launched Top Level Gym in Montego Bay.

Two of the boxers, on the Card,  Jerone Ennis, and Daniel Hylton, will represent Jamaica in the upcoming Commonwealth Games. 

"Going to the Commonwealth Games, this fight is very important to me,” said Ennis.

“This fight will basically be a prep fight.  Not expecting any competition but I have been training hard.  Just come and expect a lot of fireworks from Jerone Ennis," he added. 

 The Mayor of Kingston, His Worship Delroy Williams, Major Jenekie Rowe - boxing officer at the Jamaica Defence Force, and Christopher Samuda - President of the Jamaica Olympic Association attended the launch and endorsed the event. 

"It all started with Lindel.  He has blazed a trail and he has created champions and achievers out of our young people,” Samuda said.

“We believe that young people must have options.  Not everybody is an athlete, not everybody is a footballer or cricketer so we must give our young people options and boxing is a sport that provides a lot of opportunities," he added. 

The Amateur matchups are:

Howard Levy (80 lbs, 10 yrs) vs Alex Grant (90 lbs, 13 yrs)

Tyreek Jackson (112 lbs, 16 yrs) vs Akeem Mignot (120 lbs, 24 yrs)

Damara Bowen (120 lbs, 18 yrs) vs Sharikee Moore (124 lbs, 20 yrs)

Juezier Heron (140 lbs, 23 yrs) vs Daniel Hylton (145 lbs, 22 yrs)

Shaine Blake (156 lbs, 28 yrs) vs Mickel Bernard (155 lbs, 33 yrs)

Renaldo Beckford (175 lbs, 24 yrs) vs Jerone Ennis (175 lbs, 27 yrs)

Kirk Patrick Heron (170 lbs, 26 yrs) vs Tomere Pearson (168 lbs, 25 yrs)

Jordan Blackwood (215 lbs, 16 yrs) vs Alex Walch (210 lbs, 31 yrs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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