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Adrian Roach faces two fresh fighters in same night to win Bahamas Championship

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Flying the flag: Adrian Roach tasted success representing Bermuda at the Leonard “Boston Blackie” Miller/Wellington “Sonny Boy” Rahming Memorial Championships in Bahamas

Boxer Adrian Roach was forced into two fights in just a couple of hours on his way to winning the Leonard “Boston Blackie” Miller/Wellington “Sonny Boy” Rahming Memorial Championships in Bahamas.

As a result of scheduling issues, the Bermudian fighter competed in the semi-final and final just hours apart as he beat Charles Petit, the Haitian national champion, on points before prevailing against Bahamas national champion Tyrone Oliver, who had been given a bye to the final, again by judges decision.

“I’m just ecstatic to have won both fights,” said Roach. “It just feels so surreal that I fought both of them so close together in just one night. I still can’t believe I did that.

“I caught an elbow to the eye in that first bout, which caused some swelling and I was having some issues with my shoulder, but credit to my corner for fixing me up and we got the job done.

“The guy I had to fight in the finals did not even have a semi-final bout, so I had to fight two guys who were completely fresh but I managed to beat them both definitively.

“My performances definitely exceeded my expectations. People around me told me these were my most exciting fights to date and I just wish they could have been at home in Bermuda so people could have seen them.

Adrian Roach, centre, with Bermuda’s boxing team of fighters and coaches in Bahamas

“My body is definitely feeling it now but I’m delighted with how I fought.”

As well as securing overall victory, the championships also gave Roach the chance to make amends for the last time he represented the island overseas when he suffered an early exit at the American Boxing Confederation Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in March 2022 after losing on points in the super-welterweight preliminary round to the experienced Jhonatan Conceição de Oliveira Soares, of Brazil.

“I’m thankful that I was able to represent Bermuda on the international stage a lot better this time around,” Roach said.

“I always want to represent the island well and be able to showcase my skills at international level to show people what Bermuda boxing is all about.”

Roach is now hoping to capitalise on his latest win as he prepares to compete in the World Championships in May and at the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador, in June and July.

He hopes to use those events to tune up for the pivotal Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, in October and November, which represents his first opportunity to seal a place at next year’s Olympic Games.

“It’s a busy year coming up,” he said. “This was just the first tournament and so I’m glad to get it out of the way with two wins.

“Moving forward I’ll be heading overseas soon to train ahead of the World Championships in Uzbekistan. Everything is gearing up and falling into place for what is hopefully a big year.

“I know this will be a crucial year in my career and I’m determined to do everything in my ability to make sure I’m victorious and achieve all of my major goals.”

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Published March 07, 2023 at 7:37 am (Updated March 07, 2023 at 7:37 am)

Adrian Roach faces two fresh fighters in same night to win Bahamas Championship

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