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‘That one was for Marco’ – Andre Lambe pays tribute to friend

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Fitting tribute: Andre Lambe paid tribute to his late friend Marco Warren, after stopping Filipino Ronniel Tabayag at The Shed in Dockyard on Saturday

Andre Lambe was relieved to finally put an emotionally draining period behind him after extending his flawless professional record with a stoppage of Filipino Ronniel Tabayag at The Shed in Dockyard on Saturday.

Having endured a bout of Covid-19 and the added mental stress of dealing with the death of close friend Marco Warren in the lead-up to the headline bout, the 27-year-old gave a composed and controlled display, flooring his opponent in the third round with a flurry of punishing blows, with referee Anthony Mouchette stopping the fight after Tabayag failed to beat the count.

Fight Night Champion: Andre Lambe v Ronniel Tabayag (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

While satisfied with securing an eighth-successive victory among the paid ranks, a subdued Lambe took the opportunity to properly reflect on the shock loss of his friend, to whom he dedicated his victory.

“That one was definitely for Marco,” said Lambe at the conclusion of an emotional evening which featured tributes to the former PHC captain inside the ring by promoters Epic Entertainment and Bermuda Boxing Federation.

“He was actually supposed to be here tonight walking out with me. I was so pleased to see some of his family were here and happy that I was able to do that for him and them.

“I wasn’t able to grieve throughout my training camp because I had to try and stay strong, so I’m just glad it’s over now and I can have some time to actually reflect and think about what has happened.

“My emotions were all over the place and I just wanted to get in there and get it over with. It’s been a long and hard road leading up to the fight and I’m just glad I’ll have some time to myself now.

Fitting tribute: Andre Lambe paid tribute to his late friend Marco Warren, after stopping Filipino Ronniel Tabayag at The Shed in Dockyard on Saturday (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“When I’m in the ring is when I feel my best because I can zone in to what I need to do and try to forget about everything else for a short while. The lead up was the hard bit and I’m just glad that I was able to make it though the fight.”

While gracious in defeat, Tabayag believes Lambe’s overwhelming weight advantage – the Bermudian was 8lb heavier than his opponent after failing to make the weight – ultimately proved pivotal with Lambe able to utilise his greater power and size, to devastating effect.

“Andre was 153lb and I was at 145lb, it was a big difference,” said Tabayag through an interpreter.

“He was just to too big and that made a huge difference, it had a major effect on the fight.

“However, I’m really happy to be able to fight here, everything is fine and I was proud to fight in front of the Filipino people, that was great.”

From the outset, Lambe quickly took control of the bout, keeping Tabayag comfortably out of range, while seemingly connecting with shots at will, with one such punishing body shot sending the Filipino to his knee to force a standing eight count midway through the opening round.

Dominant display: Andre Lambe dictated the bout from the outset, connecting with punishing shots at will (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Firmly in the ascendancy, the Bermudian continued to toy with his opponent in the second round, forcing Tabayag to swing in vain, while landing stinging shots at regular intervals to the body and head.

Fight Night Champion: Andre Lambe vs Ronniel Tabayag (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Seizing the opportunity to end the six-round contest early, Lambe forced Tabayag into the corner before unleashing a flurry of unanswered of devastating blows, which sent the 31-year-old to the canvas.

Fight Night Champion: Andre Lambe vs Ronniel Tabayag (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

With his coaches calling for the fight to be stopped, referee Mouchette obliged, counting Tabayag out, with the fighter failing to get to his feet to finally bring about the seemingly inevitable outcome.

At the conclusion of the decision, a visibly overwhelmed Lambe dropped to his knees as he finally allowed an outpouring of emotions to overcome him.

Out pour of emotion: Andre Lambe drops to his knees after the conclusion of his bout against Ronniel Tabayag (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

While, his immediate focus is on taking time to reflect on what has been a challenging time, Lambe admits he still harbours ambition of testing himself outside the confines of Bermuda in order to gain greater exposure and experience.

“I’m still planning on some more fights this year, but first I just need to take some time,” added Lambe, who revealed exciting plans may already be in progress for his next bout.

“I can’t say too much right now, but I have some meetings coming up in the immediate future about something potentially big for my next fight.

“I’m still planning on getting some international exposure, I’m not planning on just fighting here in Bermuda.”

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Published May 29, 2023 at 4:31 pm (Updated May 29, 2023 at 4:31 pm)

‘That one was for Marco’ – Andre Lambe pays tribute to friend

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