‘Sonny Boy’ Memorial boxing sees international flair

There were four bouts at the inaugural Wellington “Sonny Boy” Memorial Tournament held at the Anatol Rodgers High School Gymnasium on Saturday, November 9.

Making the inaugural event were boxers from the Cayman Islands.

The United States and Haiti were originally scheduled to make the trip but did not come anymore.

The opening fight was a women’s bout between Bahamian Elizabeth Hutchinson and Cayman’s Hepseba Angel.

The five judges unanimously decided that the visitor was the better fighter after the full three rounds were completed.

“It was different for me because it was my second fight,” Angel said.

“The first one I had was at home so I had encouragement. She was coming at me a lot so I felt overwhelmed. I felt that it was really good. She pushed me to the limit and I liked that.”

As for the international exposure, 18-year-old Angel said it feels good but she feels like she has a lot more to prepare for.

It was a quick fight for Bahamian Vashann Johnson against Cayman’s Charlie Nixon. He won the first round comfortably after feeling Nixon out.

“As amateurs, we really don’t have time to study our opponents so what you really have to do is adapt to your opponent. You have to be able to think quickly. I know the opponent came in there because he looked slightly bigger than me. He came in there to try throw combinations and try bully me. My coach told me to counter punch and pick him apart.”

That was what Johnson did in the second round. He came out attacking Nixon. A little after, Nixon’s corner threw in the towel and Johnson was the winner.

The judges had Johnson winning unanimously if the fight went into the third round.

Johnson is grateful to be able to fight different opponents. He added that it allows him to work on his game and to see his flaws. For now, the 12th grade student will prepare to make the team that will travel to the Caribbean Boxing Championships in Trinidad and Tobago in December.

It was a local battle between Keith Major and Austin Minnis. This bout went all the way to the full three rounds. The boxers put on a show for the fans that came out and supported the night.

It was a tough match between the two Bahamians and the judges had a difficult time picking a winner. In the end it was Minnis who got the win in a judge’s 3-2 split decision.

The final bout of the night saw Bahamian Stephen Cox go up against Jon Mikol Rankin. After a few seconds, the visitor figured out Cox.

Rankin, who fought his first international bout, made light work of the Bahamian as the fight wrapped up in the first round.

“I felt good about the fight. I just need to work on my defense. Otherwise, the offense was good,” Rankin said. “I was glad the fight finished early because that was my plan going in – get the first-round knockout, Mike Tyson style.”

The weekend also saw a certification course for coaches, referees and judges.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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