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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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T&T’S Olympic boxer Nigel Paul was a winner on the night of boxing at the Brian Lara Castle, as T&T defeated Jamaica 4-1 in a duel on Tuesday night.

The card, promoted by cricket champion Brian Lara, in conjunction with the T&T Boxing Association, saw Paul defeating Jamaica’s Ricardo Brown by unanimous decision after three rounds of a bruising contested that was witnessed by a number of dignitaries including Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, Minister of Sports Darryl Smith, Michael Phillips- chairman of the Sports Company, Lara’s and his friends, former T&T footballers Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy, and former World Champion boxer Leslie “Tiger’ Stewart, among others.

Paul thought he had his work cut out for him as Brown entered the ring as the silver medallist from last year’s Caribbean Championships. The Jamaican appeared determined to unleash his big knock-out punch all night but it proved anything but harmful to the TT fighter in the super heavyweight division.

Paul too, made a meal of the contest as he failed to capitalise on opportunities to send his opponent to the canvas in the third round. First when a combination of punches jolted the Jamaican against the ropes and with Brown literally pleading to be knocked-out, the bulky T&T fighter let him off the hook.

Brown also survived moments before the end as Paul caught him drifting from some earlier blows, but with the situation ripe for the knock-out, Paul again allowed his opponent to catch himself, sending the fight to the judges for a decision, perhaps confident that he won on the judges scorecards.

In the end however, Paul got the edge in this his first fight since his Rio Olympic Games debut and now its back to the gym as he prepares for his next outing.

T&T’s Michael Alexander and Nyrell Hosein provided the performances of the night. Alexander outclassed Damion Williams in the welterweight division by unanimous decision and Hosein delivering a similar performance on the undercard against Kevin Randeo to prevail on a split decision in an all-local juniors contest.

Hosein’s display of hitting and moving in the three-round contest assured him the win over a bigger and seemingly stronger Ramdeo, much to the delight of the fans. And later, it was Alexander’s turn to show-off his skills and clever footwork. He pounded Williams from the opening round, providing expectations of a knock-out which never came. Williams struggled to cope with the agility of Alexander and when he connected with his vicious punches, they proved to be ineffective as they lacked any power.

Instead, Alexander, who missed out on a chance to qualify for the Olympic Games last year, freely landed punches to his opponents head and body to earn the expected victory.

There was also victory on the night for T&T’s Aaron Prince over Jamaica’s Jonathan Hanson by unanimous decision in the Middleweight category and Brandon Dennis who triumphed over Ian Derby in the Heavyweight division by split decision. Mike Inniss was the only casualty for T&T on the night, going down to a brutal Marvin Shea by unanimous decision in the Light welterweight.

​WALTER ALIBEY

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