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Adrian Roach suffers preliminary round defeat in Ecuador

Adrian Roach (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Adrian Roach says he feels like he let Bermuda down after making an early exit on his debut at the American Boxing Confederation Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador, yesterday.

The orthodox fighter held his own to go the entire distance in a three-round super-welterweight preliminary-round bout against Brazil’s Jhonatan Conceição de Oliveira Soares at the Coliseo Voltaire Paladines Polo complex.

However, it ultimately was not enough as Soares won the bout on points to eliminate his Bermudian opponent from the competition at the first hurdle.

“It was an experienced fighter and it wasn’t a walkover,“ Roach told The Royal Gazette.

“He [Soares] didn’t walk over me, so I held my own in that regard.

“He has been in international bouts since before I was even boxing, so he’s experienced.

“But that’s no excuse. I feel like I let Bermuda down in a sense.”

Very little separated the two fighters over the course of the fight, with Soares’s experience and superior height and reach ultimately giving him the decisive edge.

Crandall University student Roach dictated the opening round, using his excellent footwork to breach his opponent’s defences and land some clean blows, including a straight left the head, and dodge counter punches.

With Roach in the ascendancy, Soares resorted to holding to try and weather the storm.

The tables turned in the second round with the Brazilian using the width of the ring to create openings and land some clean blows of his own to drag himself back in contention.

The bout hung in the balance heading into the third and final round.

Roach came charging out of the blocks to try and re-establish control. However, Soares used his jab to keep the 19-year-old at bay and connected with some clean shots to the head, which took their toll and ultimately secured his passage through the quarter-finals.

Roach is now determined to shrug off the defeat and bounce back at the earliest opportunity.

“True warriors bounce back, and that’s what I intend to do,” he said. “Right now I am just going to take some time to rest and reflect on my performance and see if I can improve for the next time.”

Roach was accompanied at the championships by his school’s head boxing coach, Jon Ohlhauser.

The event runs until April 1 and will see the medal-winners in each of the respective weight classes earn prize money, with the winners to pocket $10,000, runners-up $5,000 and third-place finishers $2,500.

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Published March 26, 2022 at 7:19 am (Updated March 26, 2022 at 7:19 am)

Adrian Roach suffers preliminary round defeat in Ecuador

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