The UBAD Education Foundation (UEF) celebrated the opening of Kwanzaa week at the UEF Library of African and Indian Studies yesterday evening, and the first principle was Unity (Umojaa in Kswahili). Shortly after, across the river and inside the Biltmore Hotel upstairs Riverhall room, Belizeans were united in their passion for boxing entertainment, and their support for Belizean boxers against visiting boxers from Chetumal, Mexico. James Adderley/Mahogany Productions promoted the fight card, and, according to ringside announcer Brian Mossiah, the sponsor was Belize Telecommunications Limited.
Tickets were sold out before the first fight got under way around 7:00 p.m., but the crowd that jammed the lobby eventually made their way in, causing the perimeter corridor between the walls and chairs to be blocked with eager spectators, and the atmosphere to approach “oven” status, reminiscent of the infamous Civic Center. Nevertheless, it was an exciting night for approximately 400 to 500 boxing fans, who were just happy to witness a live boxing event, something that has been a scarce commodity for some time.
It was a 7-fight amateur card, featuring boxers from Chetumal against Belizean opponents, from the Leopold Smart gym in Belize City and Clinton Tucker’s Lion’s Den gym in Ladyville. The bouts were scheduled as 4 rounds each, with 2 minutes per round. Referee in charge was Roberto Ordonez, and ringside physician was Dr. Michael Pitts.
Colin Lamb, 119 lbs, of Smart’s gym lost a decision to Gaspar Gomez of Chetumal in the opener. Next was Harold Mariano, 144 lbs of Smart’s gym, getting a unanimous decision over Julio Sandoval, 140 lbs, of Chetumal. The third bout did not take place, as Erick Tina Mai won by default over Simeon Lino. Anderson Portillo of Smart’s gym won by a 2nd round disqualification of his Mexican opponent Jesus Pichales, who hit Portillo with a low blow. Alex Neal of Tucker’s gym won an impressive 2nd round TKO over Chetumal’s Rojel Rojas. Undefeated Max “Pain” Williams of Tucker’s gym took his record to 15-0 with his 1st round TKO over Marco Gonzalez of Chetumal. And Sherman Galvez of Smart’s gym “punched himself out” early and ended up losing a unanimous decision to Abraham Rojas of Chetumal to end the night.
The fans seemed happy with the night of boxing, and are looking forward to more regular promotions. If the support continues, a bigger venue will be needed, or a more powerful air conditioning system.