Competitive boxing will return to the sporting landscape with a well-stocked fight card which includes amateurs, females and a professional match-up. The event dubbed ‘Fight Night on Olympic Way’ is scheduled for this Saturday at 7:00 pm when the Suga Kockout Boxing Gym will come alive at the Cling Cling Oval in Olympic Gardens.
The Sugar Knockout Gym was also launched at it newest location – the Cling Cling football Oval, home of Reggae Boyz Ian Pepe Goodison who is president of the football club and supported the boxing gym taking up residency on the top floor of the club house.
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 usually train at Tinson Pen first where Archmore, then I leave from Archmore go to Liberty Hall on King Street, then I leave from Liberty Hall when Liberty Hall mash up and go Race Course at Guiness Gym. Well I go couple years of boxing and turn professional. I love boxing so much that when I done with it I say I have to really turn a coach, so a come and get some gears and start train. The first guys that I train are (Khamal) Russell, (Dwayne) Rose and Chad Richards. Russell come out as a champion. Chad Richards come out as a champion. Is only Rose one come out as a loser.” He also said “boxing is my life and what I love.”
Regarding the gym’s current location, Wallace said “I feel good about it because its long time I was asking for a place to call home and now I get it. I need to improve more with my fighter dem.” 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.
According to Jamaican-born Felipe Sanchez (Colombian background) and vice president of the gym, “I have been involved in boxing in Jamaica for over four years, in a total boxing has been a part of my life for over fifteen years but coming here to the boxing gym in Suga’s Knockout Gym its been wonderful to see the sense of community that has been built. 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 is in charge 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 at the end of the day after you are a boxer if that 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.”
The Jamaica Boxing Association president Stephen Bomber Jones said “(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. The return of the sport, its 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. Its the beginning of what should have been and pick up from where we left off and where we gonna go.”
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.
The Amateur matchups are:
Howard Levy (80 lbs, 10 yrs) vs Alex Grant (90 lbs, 13 yrs)
Tyreek Jackson (112., 16 yrs) vs Akeem Mignot (120, 24)
Damara Bowen (120, 18) vs Sharikee Moore (124, 20 yrs
Juezier Heron (140, 23) vs Daniel Hylton (145, 22)
Shaine Blake (156, 28) vs Mickel Bernard (155, 33)
Renaldo Beckford (175, 24) vs Jerone Ennis (175, 27)
Kirk Patrick Heron (170, 26) vs Tomere Pearson (168, 25)
Jordan Blackwood (215, 16) vs Alex Walch (210, 31)
Two of the boxers – Jerone Ennis and Daniel Hylton will represent Jamaica in the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
According to Ennis “going to the Commonwealth Games, this fight is very important to me. 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 Ennins.”
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.
Samuda said “it all started with Lindel. He has blazed a trail and he has created champions and achievers out of our young people. We believe that young people must have options. Not everybody is an athlete, not everybody is footballer or cricketer so we must give our young people options and boxing is a sport that provides a lot of opportunities.” He lauded Wallace and his team for improving the boxing facility.