Jamaican Michael Gardener, representing the Caribbean team in the Wray and Nephew Contender 2016 Series, makes his debut as a professional boxer tonight. Gardener will face USA boxer José Guzman, over five rounds in the fifth week of competition at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium. Fight time is 9.30 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast live on Television Jamaica. Last week the series heated up considerably when Guyanese boxer Revlon Lake fought a bruising battle against Anthony Woods from The Bahamas to take a majority decision, and tonight’s fight promises to be in the same vein. The 22 year-old Gardener is faced with a huge task, in this his debut, but he and his camp have stated that they are very confident of victory, despite the fact that Guzman, who is 27, is a seasoned professional with 20 fights on his rÈsumÈ. It is not an impressive one, as he has won six, lost 13, and had one draw, but the fact is that he has been a professional since 2006. He last fought on March 5, losing to John Hernandez in New York over six rounds. Gardener has been one of Jamaica’s best amateur boxers and has been a champion in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions. He has represented Jamaica in overseas competitions several times and is known to be a hard-hitting boxer. His major fault as an amateur was that being primarily a counter-puncher, he had the tendency to react and fight back rather than lead and be aggressive. As a result, he was usually coming from behind, and in a three-round fight, he therefore, found himself in trouble on several occasions. Over five rounds, he has some more time, but he still cannot afford to lose the early rounds as catching up would be difficult. The tactics that he uses tonight will be very important if he is to make a successful debut. He has good punching power, but his opponent, who was born in Puerto Rico and who has been living in the Bronx, New York, for some time, is quite likely to be very aggressive, so the ingredients are there for an exciting contest. The winner tonight moves into the quarter-final, and will be one step closer to the Contender 2016 title and first prize of $2million. The runner-up takes home $500,000, third place $250,000 and fourth place $200,000. In the next stage of the competition, the boxers will still challenge each other over five rounds, but the semi-finals will be over seven rounds, and the final in July will be a 10-round contest.
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Authorities of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) yesterday burned about 8,159 Kg of home-grown Marijuana, 191 grams of cocaine and 149 grams of heroin valued over US$673, 464 in Monrovia. Some of the illicit substances that wouldn’t burn were taken apart and physically destroyed by the LDEA agents in full view of the public.“The ceremony that characterized the burning and the destruction of the illicit substances yesterday climaxed activities that officially marked the observance of this year’s International Drug Day in the country,” LDEA Director, Anthony K. Souh, told those who turned out en-masse, including LDEA’s foreign partners, for the occasion.Of the illicit substances the LDEA destroyed yesterday, Nimba County alone accounted for about 4, 843 kilograms of marijuana, 10 grams of heroin, followed by Bong County with 1,110 Kg of the home-grown marijuana. The rest, LDEA said, was arrested from the 13 counties of which Grand Bassa and Montserrado counties accounted the highest grades of cocaine and heroin.According to Director Souh, “Some of those illicit substances were arrested from dealers and cultivators across the country, while some were arrested from the end users over a period from January to June this year.”This year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and its illicit trafficking under the theme: “Think Health Not Drugs,” was scheduled for Sunday, June 26, but the celebration was officially proclaimed yesterday (Wednesday).Drug abuse and its illicit-trafficking have posed major problems to the human race and millions of people worldwide continue to be affected directly and indirectly.The proclamation is in consonance with an Act of National Legislature adopted in 1999 creating the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), with the authority to combat the importation, illicit trafficking and use of dangerous drugs. The observance of the day is intended to create awareness of the devastating effects of illicit drugs on individuals and families and to mobilize communities and other stakeholders against the use of such substances. On December 7, 1987, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 42/112, which set aside the 26th day of June of each year as International Day Against Illicit Trafficking of Drugs and other Substances of Abuse, and it is celebrated worldwide. The occasion yesterday started with a street parade, which brought together the LDEA, the Liberia National Police, officers of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and the student community.Earlier, the keynote speaker, Augustine Tamba, President of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), said it was troubling when the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) draws down and the country’s national security assumes the responsibilities to control the borders, ports of entries, cities, towns and villages in the wake of the growing wave of transnational and national crimes including drug-trafficking.Mr. Tamba, among other things, recommended to the mission that except for special operations, the LDEA should reduce the presence of uniform officers to gather precise, accurate and prompt information for quick reaction; that the LDEA take into account the use of technological instruments to track down illicit drug traffickers, etc.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)