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I’ll dedicate victory to Rego, says Lambe

Andre Lambe will enter the ring for the first time without his late coach Allan “Forty” Rego in his corner when he faces Canadian Daniel Roach at CedarBridge Academy on Saturday night.

Lambe admits it will be strange not having Rego's reassuring words of instruction ringing in his ears when he steps between the ropes for his main event bout on “The Next Greatest” fight card.

The 22-year-old was among several boxers, past and present, in attendance at Rego's funeral last week and said he would be dedicating his fight to his former coach, who died of cancer this month aged 86.

“Rego was at all of my fights and it would have been great to have him there, especially knowing what he was going through,” said Lambe, who has eight wins from 11 amateur bouts. “I'll definitely be dedicating this fight to Rego as a tribute.”

Although Lambe has been primarily trained for the past six years by Varo Pelon Andrade, a trusted member of Rego's coaching team, it was Rego who they turned to for advice and validation in the build-up to a contest.

“We always looked to Rego for that final touch,” Lambe said. “Everything we did we had to get the ‘OK' from Rego.

“He'd say, ‘change this' or ‘you're doing good'. That always gave you confidence as you knew what you were doing was working.”

Lambe hopes to be pushed to his limit by Roach, his more experienced opponent, particularly as the Bermudian's previous bout against Portuguese Jorge Guedes in November was brought to a premature end in the first round.

Guedes suffered a cut above his right eye, possibly from an accidental headbutt, with his injury deemed too serious for him to continue.

“I hope it's a competitive fight and that [Roach] brings out the best in me,” Lambe said. “I don't feel that I've been able to show what I can do in my last three fights.

“I believe my last fight would have been a really good one and it was unfortunate the way it went. I want to be able to perform and show everybody what I can do. I want to at least have some completeness in myself, knowing that I did all I wanted to do; win or lose.”

The welterweight will use the bout to prepare for his Central American and Caribbean Games qualifiers in Tijuana, Mexico, next month. He will join compatriots Tyler Christopher and Stefan Dill in trying to reach the regional event — a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games in Toyko] — to be held Barranquilla, Colombia, in July and August.

“I believe if I'm at my best I can [qualify for the CAC Games],” said the southpaw.

“I definitely have the skill and drive. I've sparred with guys who have gone the Olympic route. I can judge myself off that and I know I'm somewhere in that pool.

“Most of the guys I've faced have been very aggressive and I've had to outwork or outthink them. I think that will help me in Mexico.”

Lambe, who has adopted the moniker “Showtime”, put his exuberant ring enterances down to the pure joy he feels when he boxes rather than any arrogance or cockiness.

“Some people think I'm being boastful or cocky, but I'm not,” he said. “This is what I love to do. If you love your job, you're not going to be upset when you go to work. This is what I live for.”

Amateur boxing underwent major changes before the Rio Olympics in 2016, with male boxers no longer wearing headguards, while the point-by-point approach switched to a ten-point scoring system similar to the professional game.

Lambe believes those alterations work to his advantage as he already has a “professional” style, having sparring extensively with Nikki Bascome, Bermuda's only professional, since joining “Forty” Rego's Gym in Warwick in 2012.

“Boxers are fighting more strategically and it's not how it used to be with everyone looking to score points,” Lambe said.

“I think my style will suit the new rules.

“It's a ten-point system and it's not just about who is punching the most. It's about who is more effective and has the most ring generalship.”

Fellow southpaw Christopher faces another Canadian, Steve Wilshire, in a middleweight contest, while Dill takes on Dunjai Lambe, of Controversy Gym, in a domestic dust-up.

Also in action will be Michael Parsons, a former Bermuda footballer, who meets Canadian welterweight Alex Navarro.

Two domestic heavyweight bouts, featuring Controversy Gym fighters, will pit Shane Basden against George Cook, and Justin Tucker against Kevin Masters. In the junior bouts, Tafari Trott, of Controversy, meets Cameron Foote, of Rego's; Adrian Roach, of Controversy, takes on Ngai Franklin, of Rego's; Kahlil Smythe, of Controversy, goes to-to-toe with Kyjah Simons, of Rego's, and Josef Ferreira fights Controversy stable-mate Logan Jimenez.

Tickets costing $75 for VIP, $50 for general admission and $25 for under-18s are available from Sports R Us or online at ptix.bm.

Photograph by Akil Simmons Ready to shine: Andre Lambe is hoping opponent Daniel Roach, of Grant's/Rival Boxing Gym in Toronto, brings out the best in him when the pair meet in the main event on “The Next Greatest” fight card at CedarBridge Academy on Saturday

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Published February 15, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated February 14, 2018 at 8:38 pm)

I’ll dedicate victory to Rego, says Lambe

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