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Youngsters rise to the occasion

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Stoop to conquer: Josef Ferreira ducks under a jab from Elmico Hayward DeShields to land a blow to the midsection, but the bigger youth edged the decision (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Bermuda’s up-and-coming boxers treated a small but enthusiastic crowd to a spirited display of ring skills at the Fairmont Southampton last night.

The Family Fight Night event, a prelude to tonight’s “Redemption” fight card headlined by professional Nikki Bascome, featured four junior amateur bouts.

The main event pitted KyJah Simons, of Forty Rego’s Gym, and Kahlil Smythe, of Controversy Gym.

In an all-action first round, Smythe was largely the aggressor, rocking Simons with a booming right hand. Simons, the slicker of the pair, responded well, though, and finished the stronger.

The pair continued to trade punches in the second round, Smythe sending Simons to the canvas after a barrage of blows to the head.

Smythe lost a point at the end of the second for throwing a punch after the bell, earning a stern dressing-down from the referee.

Both boxers showed tremendous heart as they repeatedly landed their combinations throughout the final round, but it was Simons who was the more eye-catching, earning a points win.

In the evening’s opening bout, Leo Richardson, the Controversy Gym coach, took on Denzel Simons, one of his protégés, who was stepping between the ropes for the first time.

After a closely contested opening round, Simons applied more pressure in the second, catching Richardson with a clean right hand, which the coach acknowledged with an approving nod.

Both boxers let their hands go in the third, Richardson showing some of the tricks he learnt under the tutelage of Chucky Renaud, his former mentor, who was in Simons’s corner.

Up next, the promising Josef Ferreira faced his Controversy stablemate Elmico Hayward-DeShields. Ferreira may have surrendered several inches in height but displayed the more refined movement and technical skills.

Hayward-DeShields was looking to maximise his size and force his opponent on to the ropes, but Ferreira countered well and caught his opponent with several accurate right hands. Hayward-DeShields kept busy, however, and was awarded the victory, presumably based on his punch volume.

In the third bout, Zion Trott was victorious in a hard-fought contest against his Controversy team-mate Otero Smith.

Elmico Hayward DeShields is made to miss again by Josef Ferreira (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)