Michael Alexander is convinced that if he gets quality sparring partners, anything is possible come next year at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
“I need a little more travelling, camp wise, going to different countries and get more sparring,” Alexander said after his 5-0 decision defeat to American Keyshawn Davis in their men’s light welterweight semifinal bout on Tuesday night here at the Miguel Grau Coliseum.
“In Trinidad and in the Caribbean, I have already surpassed that level of sparring. I mean the training is very well with my coach Mr Reynold Cox and Anthony Dopwell but other than that as a boxer you need plenty sparring partners and in my weight it hardly have that in Trinidad.
“So I need to travel to other countries that have top of the line Olympic-style boxers like Cuba, USA and so forth, to get more experience so when I come out here.
“Just imagine I don’t have that much sparring partners in Trinidad and if I could still be on the podium, imagine if I get the training that I need, imagine what I can do for Trinidad.”
The 26-year-old boxer was all smiles after getting T&T’s first medal at the Games after his loss to the USA boxer. The losing semifinalists are awarded the bronze medals.
“I am pleased with my performance at my first Pan American Games,” Alexander as he assessed his outing.
“Plus this is one of the hardest boxers in the world in my weight division and I am just pleased to qualify for Pan Am Games and take part in it and still come home with hardware for the first time and you don’t have nothing to lose in boxing but gain experience and this a hell of an experience for me as a boxer preparing for World Championships in Russia and the upcoming Olympics.”
With enthusiastic cheers from the T&T supporters, among them deputy chef de mission Lovie Santana and members of the beach volleyball team, Alexander put up a good fight against American Davis, who captured silver at the Pan American Games Qualifier in Nicaragua in addition to the 2018 Chemistry Cup in Germany, to put T&T on the medals table.
Alexander was thrilled he had won T&T’s first medal, saying: “It was a great experience for me, I am pleased and overwhelmed with myself that I can still come home with hardware for my country.”
Coach Cox was also proud of his young boxer’s achievement but admitted he has a lot of work to do if he is to get success in Japan at the world’s premier sporting event.
“The tactical plan was good, the fall back was his conditioning. I think it could have been better to sustain the kind of attack during the fight even when the guy changed his style, he wasn’t able to pick it up as much,” Cox said as he assessed how his fighter adapted to the fight.
“I was pleased with his performance. My focus right now is the Olympic Games next year and all this is just preparation for it. I mean getting the medal is one part, I’m happy about that but disappointed with the overall team performance. But I think we are making the step in the right direction to qualify Michael for the 2020 Olympic Games and probably get on the podium in Tokyo.”
In other boxing results earlier this week, Nigel Paul lost to Colombian Camilo Codazzi Salcedo in the quarterfinal round of the men’s super heavyweight (+91kg) division, Tyron Thomas fell to Rohan Emiliano Polanco in the men’s welterweight (69kg) quarterfinals and Aaron Prince was injured in the third round of his men’s middleweight (75kg) quarterfinal bout versus Lesther Espino.
Daniel 19th in pistol prelims
Roger Daniel will have to make some major improvements today if he wants to challenge for one of the top positions in the men’s 25-metres rapid fire pistol event.
Yesterday at the Las Palmas Range in the qualification round, the local shooter closed stage one in 19th place with a score of 271. Cuban Jorge Alvarez was atop the standings with a score of 291.
Daniel will therefore have to be a lot more accurate in stage two today to make the cut for the six-man final.