Olympic hopefuls Aaron Prince and Michael Alexander were in action at Tuesday Night Boxing at the Castle, as former West Indies batsman Brian Lara opened his home to boxing for the first time in Port-of-Spain, on Tuesday night.
The event was hosted by the T&T Amateur Boxing Association in collaboration with LAY Management Group and the Pearl and Bunty Lara Foundation.
A women’s bout was included on the six-fight card, as patrons viewed the first of three Tuesday Night Boxing events which will be held this month (January 12 and 19) at Lara’s residence.
Among those in attendance were Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith, Sportt chairman Michael Phillips and president of the T&T Olympic Committee Brian Lewis.
The fourth fight of the night was the main bout between Central American and Caribbean Games bronze medallist Prince and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Alexander, two boxers vying for Olympic qualification. Prince was the more attacking boxer during the fight, as the more slimly built Alexander was happy to defend and throw counter attacking punches. It was a similiar pattern throughout the bout with Alexander ducking and weaving while challenging Prince opted to attack. Prince landed enough of his punches to win by an unanimous decision as the three judges all gave him the edge on points.
The crowd came to life during the following contest between Martha Rodney and Rachelle Williams, the only women’s fight. The pair came out swinging as the shorter powerfully built Rodney and the slimmer, taller Williams gave the crowd some entertainment. As the crowd cheered on the pair, Williams had difficulty keeping her mouthguard in place, as it fell to the canvas numerous times during the contest. However, it did not keep her from winning as she prevailed by an unanimous decision. Jessey Beckles was a winner on points over Kyleion Ruiz and Jean Paul Cooper was also judged the winner on points over Romel Lezama.
Two fights were decided by third round knockouts when Shakir Fleming got the better of Isaac Herbert in the first fight, while in the curtain closer Anthony Joseph got the better of Christopher De Freitas.
On Tuesday, Boxing at the Castle will continue when T&T battles Guyana in a Caribbean showdown.
Lara has hosted countless events over the years, but in a short address following the fight card he stated that the boxing event was the most satisfying. “I have a Carnival fete and many other events at my house, but the most pleasing event I have ever had was tonight (Tuesday).”
The former left-hander said he got the idea to host the event after attending Tuesday Night Boxing at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. “I was at Hugh Hefner’s house for Tuesday Night Boxing and I thought it was a great idea. To host them (T&T boxers) here tonight is an amazing accomplishment.”
In an earlier press release Lara said, “As we are all aware Rio 2016 Olympics will be held in August, and in keeping with the goals of the Olympic Movement it is my fervent desire to nurture and advance sports in T&T whereby we can allow our local representatives the best possible chance to compete successfully in arguably the sporting world’s largest and most spectacular games.”