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Adrian Roach stars on undercard as Bermuda boxers showcase talent

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Adrian Roach dominates opponent Anthony Hernandez (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Adrian Roach got his pre-fight desire, Bruce Perinchief gained a measure of revenge, Sion Symonds showed boxing as superior to MMA, and two super-heavyweights delivered thunderous claps not from the clouds during an action-packed undercard of Epic Entertainment’s Fight Night Champion, at The Shed in Dockyard on Saturday.

Headliner Roach, Bermuda’s top amateur talent, had his request for an opponent to last the allotted three rounds granted.

Taking Roach’s punishing lessons was 19-year-old Anthony Hernandez, representing The Lion’s Den Boxing Gym of Pittsburgh, California, who showed great heart and desire but was clearly not in the Bermudian’s class as he endured a three-round pounding.

Roach was measured in a relentless attack of Hernandez, feeding his adversary left jabs and follow-up powerful right hands to the head at will, while also peppering the Mexican’s mid-section with weighty blows from both hands.

The light-welterweight gave his opponent a taste of his power with an upper combination that struck cleanly, turning the latter’s attack into retreat and recovery, a scenario that would repeat in varying degrees of destruction for three rounds.

Smoking: Adrian Roach brought the goods against Anthony Hernandez (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“My coaches really wanted me to show my skills and I was able to do that, whether it was with boxing or fighting on the inside,” said Roach, a junior majoring in Kinesiology, while on a boxing scholarship at Canada’s Crandall University.

“I feel really good. I’ll be back in the gym on Monday. Back to the grind.

“This is a big year for us, as been reported before. We have a lot of things to prepare for, there are Olympic qualifiers, the World Championships and I’m just ready.

“My opponent was a good fighter. He was tough, hung in there and took a lot of good punches, but at the end of the day it’s my fist that got raised and I’m thankful to God and all my sponsors.

“Howard, from Buzz, has been a really influential part of this training camp and a great financial help. And a big shout-out to Sugar Rush Cakes, OnTrack, BGA, Cardoso Customs and a few more that make it possible for me to do what I do.”

Competitions on the horizon for Roach include the World Championships in Uzbekistan in May, followed by the Pan Am Games, which will serve as an Olympic qualifier for those aspiring for a place at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

A spirited, action-packed opening encounter featured Sion Symonds of Controversy Boxing Gym overcoming the advances of mixed martial artist Che Durham.

Symonds showed little regard for Durham’s recent capture of a pair of silver medals at the WKA World Kickboxing and Karate World Championships, demonstrating his boxing to be superior in winning by a split decision.

After a first round in which Durham took the eya with a flurry of early blows that at once threatened to overwhelm a slower, more cautious Symonds, the tide turned precipitously as the latter found range, rhythm and better movement.

Sion Symonds (left) overpowers Che Durham (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

As Durham slowed following the early spurt and his lack of punching power was realised, Symonds moved in with confidence, opening up an attack that stymied Durham.

It was Symonds who landing the more telling blows in the last two rounds to secure a split decision.

“I think it’s generous to say I took over the fight,” said Symonds, modest in triumph. “I thought it was one-for-one the whole time.and I’m just happy to have won.

“Che was an amazing fighter. For me, obviously I wanted to win and just echo the words Adrian Roach said to me, ‘To rally, rally rally and put in the work!’ That’s what I did, because Che made me work for it.”

Durham echoed Symonds’ sentiments of the clash having been a tough one, admitting Symonds to have been the better technician on the night.

“I knew that I had to be a bit more technical,” said Durham, one part of a fighting tandem of Durham brothers, that includes identical twin, Cole. “He was able to go through my shots, but it was a good match.

“I needed to keep moving more and I allowed him to press forward too much. Next time I need to use better head movement and maintain pressure more.”

Despite significant weight and height disadvantages, Perinchief made up for an ealier loss to Che Durham, using a textbook one-two, left-right combination to knock down Cole Durham on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

Cole Durham (right) and Bruce Perinchief go toe to toe (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Perinchief was a picture of steadfast determination and pointed aggression, even as he was often unorthodox in practice.

Emblematic of what he related as a tough, humble upbringing, Perinchief scrapped and clawed his way past the longer reach of Durham to do inside damage that greatly impacted the fight.

“I worked really hard for the fight, which was why I was so passionate at the end,” said Perinchief, who collapsed to his knees on hearing the judges’ decision.

“Honestly, I give it to God. God and the hard work He has guided me through.

“Life was really hard on me and a close friend of mine was teaching me martial arts and brought me to Leo, who saw potential in me and that brought me to boxing, which has given me structure and stability.

“Leo saw something in me, encourages and teaches me and now the goals is to get to the Olympics.”

Tagged as an exhibition the battle between Bermuda rugby squad teammates Corey Boyce and Bertie Horsfield offered a demonstration of ‘big-boy’ punching power, with Horsfield absorbing a tad more than he administered from a constantly stalking Boyce.

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Published January 30, 2023 at 7:31 am (Updated January 30, 2023 at 7:31 am)

Adrian Roach stars on undercard as Bermuda boxers showcase talent

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