By Corporal Joseph Lewis
Headquarters, Jamaica Defence Force (Civ/Mil Co-op)

The Force Boxing Championships lived up to expectations with some sensational fights on Friday 20 March 2009 at the Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing Hangar. Due to the inclement weather, the finals were postponed from Thursday to Friday night; but this did not stop the patrons from turning out in their numbers as the venue was full to its capacity while there were still persons outside trying to get a glimpse of the bouts.

A section of the crowd cheering for their favourite boxer.

This year’s competition saw the introduction of a new trophy, the JDF Sports Board Challenge Trophy, being awarded to the winning unit. The sport of Boxing has been getting well needed support. President of the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control, William Tavares-Finson, who was among the specially invited guests, presented the JDF Sports Board with boxing gear to continue to improve the sports and to prepare the boxers for national competitions.

President of the Jamaica Boxing Board of
Control, William Tavares-Finson (left) presenting boxing gear
to the Chairman of the JDF Sports Board Colonel Rocky Meade.

The first bout set the stage for what was to come as Sapper Adrian Mendez of
1 Engineer Regiment (JDF) outshone Second Lieutenant Ernest Richards of the First Battalion The Jamaica Regiment (1 JR) in the Feather Weight division.  

During the first bout of the Feather Weight division, Lance Corporal Shantez McInnis of Support and Services Battalion and last year’s Champion Boxer was seen outside the ring rehearsing his moves for his upcoming bout in the Light Weight category.

Lance Corporal Shantez McInnis of Support and Services Battalion
pouncing on Lance Corporal Chiwale Lindsay of 1Engr Regt (JDF).

He did not waste any time when he got in the ring as he pounced all over his opponent.  After out-punching his opponent, the Referee called off the fight much to the delight of his cheering fans. This was a definite ‘out-class’ and after such a spectacular performance McInnis again copped the coveted ‘Champion Boxer’ title, winning this award for the fifth consecutive time.

After a few exciting fights, it was time for the highly anticipated fight between Private Micolee Myers and Sapper Raymon Sinclair in the Heavy Weight division. A crowd-favourite, this bout had everyone on their feet as the fighters traded blows. It was predicted that Private Myers would knock-out Sapper Sinclair in the first round but the engineer was determined that he would not be nailed and so he posed a challenge; but in the last two rounds it was evident that he lost the strength necessary to beat ‘Tripple M’ (megaton?) as Myers was so called. However, Sapper Sinclair’s effort was applauded with the Most Gallant Loser medal.

Private Micolee Myers of the Support and Services Battalion in action
against Sapper Raymon Sinclair of 1Engr Regt (JDF).

At the end of the bouts, it was clear who the winners were. Having skilfully contested all the divisions, the 1 Engineer Regiment (JDF) copped the championship from the First Battalion The Jamaica Regiment who settled for a tie with the Second Battalion for third place. The Support and Services Battalion jumped one place to finishing second. The 1 Engr Regt (JDF) recorded its second win since the inception of the Force Boxing Competitions in 1984. They won the competition for the first time in 2006.

In bringing the curtain down, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Colonel Antony Anderson invited the gathering to observe a minute of silence for the late Colonel Roderick Kenrick Barnes, who was a boxing enthusiast and former President of the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control.