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Guyana's boxing history


BoztheMadman
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This rather small country in the far northeast of South America has produced some really good and popular boxers so far. 5 of them have been world champions so far, but there have been a few other solid boxers from this country, such as Terrence Alli. Let's take a look at their boxing history.

Dennis Andries was surely the first Guyanese-born fighter to win a world title. Even though he is regarded as a British fighter, Andries was born in Georgetown, the capital of British Guyana. He was around 10 when he followed his father to England and settled in Hackney, thus eventually gaining the nickname "The Hackney Rock". Andries was a very resilient, tough, hard-hitting and aggressive never say die fighter. His boxing skills improved after he in 1988 started training under Manny Steward. He won the WBC light heavy title 3 times, first in 1986 when he beat JB Williamson by SD and then defended it by stopping Tony Sibson by TKO 9, before he lost it against Thomas Hearns, who dropped him six times before stopping him by a TKO 10 in 1987. It was then that Andries called up the trainer of Hearns, Emmanuel Manny Steward, and asked him to become his trainer. Andries recaptured the WBC title by stopping Tony Willis by TKO 5 in February 1989, but then lost it in his first defense in June that year by TKO 12 to Jeff Harding. In July next year, he went to Australia to fight Harding again and impressively won by KO 7 to recapture the WBC belt. He would make 2 successful defenses, both by stoppage, before losing the belt for the final time in the rubbermatch with Harding, by split decision in London, September 1991. He continued fighting as a cruiser, but only won the British title there when he stopped Denzil Browne by TKO 11, in January 1995. He retired in 1996, after getting stopped by Johnny Nelson on 14 December that year, by TKO 7. 

Around the same time, Terrence Alli also fought, first as a lightweight and then a super lightweight. Alli was born in Mahaicony, a community of villages on the east coast of Guyana. He fought out of Brooklyn NY. He turned pro in December 1979 and his first significant achievement was winning the ESPN light title by stopping Frank Newton by corner retirement in 3 in September 1984. On 12 January next year, he tried to win the IBF title against Harry Arroyo, but was stopped by TKO 11 after a close fight. In March 1986, he drew against Cornelius Boza Edwards. In September that year, he beat the undefeated Miguel Santana by UD to win the IBF USBA light title. On 19 July 1987, he lost by UD in a fight for the WBC title against Jose Luis Ramirez, by close scores. After dropping a decision to Roger Mayweather in July 1990, he scored a significant victory over future world champion Charles Murray, who was 20-0 coming in, winning by SD12 in May 1991. On 8 May 1993, he finally fought for a world title again when he took on Julio Cesar Chavez for his WBC super light title. After getting dropped in round 6 but making the count, the referee stopped the fight, prematurely according to most sources. After that, things would go downwards for Alli and he lost all of his remaining fights, 8 of them, finally retiring in late 1997. 

There was also Lennox Blackmoore, who won the Commonwealth Boxing Council light title against Jonathan Dele by PTS 15 in 1977. He also stopped the Aussie future IBF-super feather champion Barry Michael by TKO 7 in 1978 and in 1981 he fought against Aaron Pryor for his WBA super light title but was cut above his eye in the first round and down in the first and second, before the fight ended after 58 seconds of the second round. He then fought Antonio Cervantes later that same year and was knocked out in 9. He retired in 1986, after winning his last two fights. I believe Blackmoore was the first Guyanese to fight for a world title.

And now we enter the new era, where Andrew Lewis made his mark. "Six Heads" Lewis was a very strong, athletic and hard-hitting warrior, who captured the WBA welter title when he stopped James Page by TKO 7 in 2001. Lewis turned pro in 1993 and in 1996 coincidentally he beat Terrence Alli by TKO 2 to win the Guyanese welter title. On 17 February 2001, he fought the taller James Page (who stood 5'11 to Lewis' 5'8), but Lewis dismantled him and put him down in rounds 2 and 7 before the fight was over. After making a points defense against Larry Marks, Lewis fought Ricardo Mayorga for the first time in July 2001 and the fight ended a no-contest after 2 rounds. The rematch happened on 30 March 2002 and this time, Mayorga the underdog produced an amazing knockout victory when he put Lewis down and out of the fight with a three-punch combo in round 5. Lewis tried to rebound against Antonio Margarito, then-reigning WBO champion, fighting him in February 2003, but after a good first round, he got caught and hurt by a big punch and then stopped against the ropes with a follow up barrage in the second. That was pretty much it for Six Heads as a world class contender and he went back to fighting in Guyana. He lost his last fight against Howard Eastman jr, which was for the Guyanese middle title, 25 October 2008, on points. Tragically, he died on 4 May 2015 after being hit by a truck while riding his motorcycle.

Wayne "Big Truck" Braithwaite was the next Guyanese to win a world title, at cruiserweight. Despite his nickname, Braithwaite is not a big cruiser, standing 6 feet tall. He was also born in Georgetown and fought out of Brooklyn. Braithwaite was a fine puncher, but lacked on the defensive front and his skills were not top notch. He was a typical slug it out fighter. He started his pro career in 1997 and first won the WBC International title by TKO 8 against Dale Brown in 2000. After knocking out Louis Azille in 3 in a WBC-eliminator, he then faced Vincenzo Cantatore for the vacant WBC title in Italy, 11 October 2002 and stopped him by TKO 10. He would make 3 successful defenses before losing the title in a unification fight against Jean Marc Mormeck, 2 April 2005 in Worcester, NY. He was down once but made it a tough fight, losing on points. In his next fight, he was stopped by TKO 4 by Guillermo Jones, marking his first knockout loss. Braithwaite complained about the stoppage being premature. In 2007, he fought the WBO-champion Enzo Maccarinelli in Cardiff but was outboxed by the much taller man and lost by a wide decision. His final hooray came next year, when he stopped Yoan Pablo Hernandez by TKO 3 in Germany. In 2009, he lost on points to Steve Cunningham in an IBF-eliminator, which pretty much sealed his career. In 2012, he came back as a heavyweight, but was knocked out in 1 round by Shawn Cox in his first fight there, before losing the second on points to Shawn Corbin, after which he retired.

Vivian Harris was a splendid boxer-puncher, who was also tall for a 140-pounder at 5'11. He was trained by Lennox Blackmoore for a while as a pro. Harris fought too long past his prime however, so he retired with a record of 12 losses. He started boxing at the age of 12 and was a national champion 3 times as amateur. He had his first pro fight in November 1997 and went 16-0 before losing to Ray Oliveira by UD10 in February 2000. After drawing against Ivan Robinson in his next fight, he destroyed Golden Johnson by KO 3 in June 2001. In February 2002 he won the vacant IBA title by UD against Michael Clark. He finally got to fight the new WBA-champion Diosbelys Hurtado of Cuba on 19 October same year and became a champion by stopping the equally-tall Hurtado by TKO 2. He made 3 defenses, first decisioning Souleymane M'Baye (27-0 at the time), Oktay Urkal and then stopping Urkal by TKO 11 in the third defense. In June 2005, he was knocked out in 7 in a big upset by the Colombian "swinger" Carlos Maussa. His last achievements were knocking out Steve Johnston (past his prime) in 7 and decisioning Juan Lazcano, in 2006 and 2007 respectively. In September 2007, he was knocked out in 7 after a great fight by the WBC-champion Junior Witter, in a title fight. He was also later stopped by Lucas Mathysse and Victor Ortiz. He ended his career on a good note however, by beating DeMarcus Corley by UD, July 2018.

MORE TO COME

 

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Since I can't continue on the same page (grr), I have to do it on another.

Howard Eastman was a middleweight contender of the early 2000's. Even tho he started out as a pro already in 1994, it took him a while to get the big fights, as many British fighters of the time avoided him because he had a reputation as a heavy hitter. He won the British title in 1998, by stopping Stephen Foster sr by TKO 7. In July 2000, he won the WBA International title against Akhmet Dottuev (former challenger of Julio Cesar Vasquez) by RTD 4. In September that year, he beat Sam Soliman on points in a close fight to win the Commonwealth title as well. He added the European title to his collection with a 10-round destruction of Robert McCracken in April 2001. He then fought against the WBA-champ William Joppy in Las Vegas, 17 November that year, but despite doing well and knocking Joppy down in the final seconds, he lost by a majority decision. He recaptured the Euro title by stopping Christophe Tendl in 3 rounds and then scored a very good win over promising Scott Dann, stopping Dann by TKO 3, April 2003. He also beat the former WBC-champ Hacine Cherifi by RTD 8 after that. On 19 February 2005, he once again went to USA, this time Los Angeles, to fight the undisputed champion Bernard Hopkins and lost after a rather uneventful fight by uneven scores. He would lose to Arthur Abraham on points in his next fight and then in March 2006 he was stopped for the first time by Edison Miranda, by TKO 7. After also experiencing losses to Wayne Elcock and John Duddy, he returned to Guyana and fought there until 2014. 

Gairy St. Clair was a splendid technician who briefly held the IBF super feather title, in 2006. He first boxed as amateur and represented Guyana at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada, where he was defeated by Robbie Peden, by second-round stoppage. He was the 1993 Caribbean Games and Central American Games champion. He turned pro in October 1994 and fought in Guyana at first. He went 14-0-1 before fighting Diego Chico Corrales in December 1998, in Sacramento and losing to the much taller man (St.Clair is only 5'4, Corrales was 5'11) by UD12 in a brave fight. In December 1999, he also dropped a decision to countryman Vivian Harris, in 10 rounds and next year also to Leonard Dorin, also in 10. He would then go 22 fights without a loss, winning 21 and drawing one. He first won the WBO Inter-Continental feather title by UD12 against Wirat Sawangwong, in August 2004. After defending it twice, he then challenged the IBF and IBO super feather champion Cassius Baloyi and fought him in his homeland South Africa on 29 July 2006. He managed to cut Baloyi badly over the left eye in round eight and in the end won by a close but unanimous verdict. He didn't get to enjoy his championship reign long however, as he lost the title in his first defense, on 4 November same year, to Malcolm Klassen, another South African, by a split decision. He was inactive for a year then before fighting Baloyi again and this time dropping a 12-round decision to him, unanimously. He continued fighting till 2013 and had several high profile fights, like against Amir Khan and Lovemoure N'Dou, but lost them all, and was also stopped for the only time as a pro by Jackson Asiku, by TKO 9 in April 2009. He had fought for 19 years. He fought from 2001 in Australia and has acquired Australian citizenship. Today he works as a promoter and matchmaker. 

And in the end, one guy that should have come among the first here, chronologically: Patrick Ford. Ford was a featherweight who in 1980 fought Salvador Sanchez for his WBC title and gave him a tough fight, rocking him and making his nose bleed in the 3rd round, however eventually he lost to the craftier and more experienced Sanchez, but by a majority decision. Ford was very tall for a featherweight at 5'10 and could hit pretty well. He fought Eusebio Pedroza, the WBA-champion, in his very next fight in February 1981, but despite cutting Pedroza (who was almost equally tall at 5'9) over the eyebrow, he was himself cut badly and knocked out in round 13, at the very end of the round. Ford would never fight for a world title again and quickly deteriorated as a fighter, also losing his next two fights, to David Brown by UD10 and Isidro Perez by TKO 3, after suffering a broken left hand. He won 3 more easier fights before retiring in 1987. Ford died in 2011, at the age of 55. Before fighting Sanchez, he won the Commonwealth by TKO 8 against Eddie Ndukwu and also WBC FECARBOX title by KO 4 against Nelson Cruz Tamariz. 

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--- Geez, Boz, 6 heads fighting Mayorga and Margarito back to back? Gotta figure his mgr must've been a sadist if not a serial murderer, ya think?

Vivian Harris a big shout back in the day blew his career when at his height as champion, he turned down a career purse in Germany to lose his next fight by KO for peanuts. He was circling the drain ever after.

Good stuff, Boz.

 

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8 hours ago, LondonRingRules said:

--- Geez, Boz, 6 heads fighting Mayorga and Margarito back to back? Gotta figure his mgr must've been a sadist if not a serial murderer, ya think?

Vivian Harris a big shout back in the day blew his career when at his height as champion, he turned down a career purse in Germany to lose his next fight by KO for peanuts. He was circling the drain ever after.

Good stuff, Boz.

Well, he had one easy fight in between but yeah, a dumb choice by his manager. Thanks.

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