Host country St Lucia not only revived the OECS Boxing Championship but went a step further. They won the two-day competition held over the weekend at the Vigie Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.
No doubt you’re familiar with the popular boxing terminology “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.” However, at this championship, an appropriate tag line would have been “Let’s Get Ready to Crumble,” as St Lucian boxers like heavyweight Ryan Charles put on a devastating display, before a loud and highly charged audience. It was Charles in charge on both nights of boxing.
St Lucia topped the medal count finishing with four gold and three silver medals. St Vincent placed second with two gold, one silver and a bronze. Dominica also earned two gold medals, one silver and a bronze, with Grenada in fourth position with two silver medals.
The gold medalists for St Lucia were bantamweight Heslie Louis, light welterweight Lyndell “The Russian” Marcellin, middleweight “The Dreadlocked” Arthur Langilier and UK based heavyweight Ryan Charles.
Flyweight Trevon Lynch, lightweight Alex Poyotte and welterweight Kyghan “The Hitman” Mortley all won silver medals.
St Lucia also captured the competition’s most prestigious award when Charles who was a one man wrecking crew, won both his bouts via the TKO route, was named Boxer of the Tournament. On both nights Charles fought like a cold blooded killer by eliminating his opponents as quickly as possible.
For the most part, the soft spoken St Lucia Head Coach Conrad Fredericks, has always performed his duties quietly and efficiently with very little fanfare. However at the conclusion of the competition, Fredericks was on cloud nine and probably still is.
The man who had humongous shoes to fill following the departure of Cuban Coach Ronaldo Toledo, was full of praise for his boxers. During an interview, his emotion got the best of him and he almost broke down, when thanking each and every boxer for their hard work and performance in the ring. Of course, he couldn’t help but mention his mentor Ronaldo Toledo.
Fitting back tears Frederick said: “He taught me so much about the fight game, how to manage the team, taught me how to keep calm and when to get heated sometimes.”
Frederick has quickly emerged from the shadows of his predecessor who undoubtedly would be proud.