THE BREEDY BROTHERS, Cobia and Jabali, impressed even if the Barbados Boxing Association (BBA) didn’t during the recently concluded Horace Phillips Memorial Tournament over the weekend.
A 75-minute late start of the event that took place at Springer Memorial School, lengthy stoppages between bouts and an extremely late end that ran into the wee hours of Sunday marred an otherwise entertaining night of boxing.
The first fight, which was slated to begin at 7:15 p.m., didn’t get under way until after 8:30 p.m. in what has disturbingly become the norm at boxing cards in recent times.
To make matters worse, patrons were forced to sit through a 30-minute delay after the end of the first bout because boxers were either not at the venue or not prepared to fight when their names were announced over the public address system.
It meant the 14-bout card didn’t finish until well past 12 a.m, by which time most of the spectators, including veteran cricket commentator Joseph “Reds” Perreira, had left long before Anderson “Tootsie” Emmanuel and the United States Virgin Islands’ (USVI) Clayton Laurent graced the ring for the feature fight.
Even if it was a free event, the level of disorganisation shown was unacceptable. And the fact that patrons were charged a $20 fee only made matters worse.
The fact that spectators could be heard asking whether they could get their money back or saying “this will be my last time coming back to boxing”. clearly showed they were disappointed, and rightly so.
On a more positive note, though, both Cobia and younger brother Jabali impressed on their way to victories over tough opponents.
Jabali’s effort also earned him the award for Best Boxer after he managed to hold off a determined effort from Guyana’s Michael April in their flyweight contest.
He was so exhausted after the fight that he had to be helped away and the doctor summoned.
Cobia, too, was clinical in his triumph over Guyanese lightweight Clairmont Gibson in a match that was too close to call and could have gone either way.
The highly anticipated return of Emmanuel to the ring after a lengthy lay-off lasted only two rounds before he was literally brought to his knees by Laurent in their super-heavyweight clash.
The highly-rated Ricardo Blackman Jr also went down to Delon Charles of Guyana in a tough, gruelling fight.
Kudos must be given to the Barbados Defence Force Sport Programme’s Kimberly Gittens, who, despite suffering an injury to her left hand in the second round of her women’s welterweight clash against the USVI’s Tiffany Reddick, still managed to come out on top.