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Roach shines on overseas debut in Florida

Winning feeling: amateur boxer Adrian Roach

Adrian Roach earned a unanimous win in his welterweight bout against Jibril Marshall in the Frank Gervin Memorial at JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort last weekend.

The 16-year-old joined Michael Parsons and Lovintz Tota in making the trip to Florida as part of the first team from Controversy Gym to compete overseas.

Roach was only member to pull off a victory, with Parsons losing on a contentious split decision, while Tota was not permitted to fight because he did not travel with the necessary boxing documents.

Leo Richardson, the Controversy Gym head coach, heaped praise on Roach, a Bermuda Institute pupil, and believes overseas competitions are crucial to accelerate the development of the island’s young pugilists.

“Adrian did awesome,” Richardson said. “When you get boxing into these youngsters at an early age and they get serious about it, this is what they can accomplish.

“He’s so proud of himself and his whole school is proud of him. He earned it.”

On the back of Roach’s eye-catching display, Richardson said the Hamilton-based gym has been invited to send a team to compete at an amateur event in New Jersey in May.

“Hopefully we can put some names forward and [the organisers] can match them with some opponents,” Richardson added.

“This is about Bermuda [fighters] against the rest of the world; I’m tired of just Bermuda against Bermuda.”

Parsons, 39, admits he felt hard done by after losing to Jeremy Satchel in a welterweight bout. However, he said watching Roach’s convincing performance had helped cushion the blow of his disappointment.

“I was the busier fighter and landed the cleaner shots,” said Parsons, who plays football for top-flight side Dandy Town.

“He’s the home fighter, it’s their event, and sometimes decisions don’t go your way.

“I was just happy for Adrian; he just boxed a perfect fight. It was like he’d already done 90 per cent of the fight in the gym. It made me forget about my result.”