Column: 5 Things We Learned From Fight Night

January 21, 2020 | 2 Comments

[Written by Vejay Steede]

Bermuda’s latest high class evening of prizefighting was held at the always elegant Fairmont Southampton last Saturday night.

It was an awesome event, where government officials rubbed shoulders with hard-working blue collar Bermudians to sing, dance, chant, and wave their flags in support of our local pugilists as they squared off against a group of equally seasoned combatants from the United Kingdom and Canada. Here’s what we learned:

1. The sweet science is alive and well within these narrow shores

In the days of yore, fight nights in Bermuda weren’t always very impressive. There were a sprinkling of professional bouts offered here and there, but the majority of fight nights were comprised of amateur bouts between often clearly amateur pugilists.

Fight Night 2020 featured three professional bouts on one card, with two being professional debuts for the local fighters. The quality of the boxing on display on Saturday night was quite high, and the technical standards of our fighters have improved immensely over, say, the last ten years or so.

Led by Nikki Bascome, the current crop of Bermudian boxers have a passion and commitment that can be seen in every move they make in the ring. Saturday night was a thing for every red-blooded Bermudian to be proud of, and, with two new Pro-fighters having made their debut on the night, this could legitimately be the dawn of a golden age for boxing in Bermuda. Why not?

2. Boxing has become an avenue toward glory for young Bermudian men

The youngest Bermudian fighters to enter the ring on Saturday night were still in middle school. Even at that tender age, all of them showed oodles of technical prowess and potential. The youngest boxers, Josef Fereirra and Otero Smith, are actually veterans of these recent fight nights, having been on cards several times before this latest event.

Both young men train at Controversy Gym, as does Kahlil Smith, Zyaire Williams, and George Cook. All of them fought well and represented their gym with distinction on Saturday night. Then, once they finished their time in the spotlight, you could see them supporting their more senior gym-mates for the rest of the evening, showing that they are taught to respect others just as they are taught how to defend themselves, jab, and throw an uppercut.

Another youngster of note coming out of Controversy Gym was Adrian Roach, who won his bout and proceeded to make an emotional dedication to his good friend Kijani Burgess, who was tragically killed in a road traffic accident last week. Adrian was completely distraught that his close friend was not there to celebrate his victory on Saturday night and the crowd smothered the young fighter with support.

It was a very heartwarming and emotional moment.

Forty Rego’s Boxing Gym was represented by Ngai Franklin, and Jordan Deshields kitted up for the Bermuda Sanshou Academy and Aries Sports Center. The youngsters opened the evening, getting the crowd warmed up for a night of explosive action and silky boxing.

These early bouts were not only entertaining exhibitions, but they were also tremendous omens for the future of boxing in Bermuda. This is a trend worth supporting, as it offers the kind of development that no other discipline offers for these young men. Let’s support this Bermuda!

3. Lovintz Tota is a beast!

This is not an insult. I’m very sure, in fact, that Mr. Tota himself will very much appreciate this sentiment. A beast is what the youngsters are calling a really good, highly skillful person these days. You know, like what those of a certain age would have called a crackerjack back in the day. All jokes aside, Lovintz has always been an outstanding athlete, so it would stand to reason that he’d do well at whatever athletic pursuit he put his mind to.

Well, he’s put his passions to boxing now, and he comprehensively rocked Zaheer Inshan out of Grant’s Boxing Club in the U.K. on Saturday night. Lovintz pummeled the visiting fighter, causing the referee to stop the fight in the third round when Inshan stopped punching back after several hard hits to the head.

It was a thrilling moment; a moment which sent the capacity crowd inside the Poinciana Ballroom into hysterics. Tota’s bout was absolutely a highlight of the evening, and certainly the pick of the amateur bouts on the night. Lovintz was another young man carrying the Controversy Gym banner, with a credit going to Just Box as well. He represented both organizations very well, bringing beast mode to the proceedings with explosive aplomb!

4. Andre Lambe has more than earned his nickname now

A boxer’s nickname can be a sensational part of his aura. A strong nickname can evoke negative emotions in an opponent even before they’ve ever seen you; imagine reading that your next opponent is called ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson before you ever met the guy; you’d be very afraid – admit it!

The thing about a fighter’s nickname is that it needs to be earned though. Andre Lambe has dubbed himself ‘Showtime,’ which is a moniker that, heretofore, has been reserved for athletic outfits of the caliber of those spectacular 1980s Los Angeles Lakers. That’s quite a large claim to make there, Andre. Well, you see the title of this point, so let’s just say that, on his professional debut, Mr. Andre Lambe very definitely lived up to his time-hardened nickname.

‘Showtime’ indicates explosive excitement, fireworks, and ostentatiously entertaining things. Andre Lambe entertained massively on Saturday night. He arrived at his premier professional appointment with every intention to devastate his opponent, and delivered a performance that had Mat Hinchey’s corner throwing in the towel after two-thirds of the first round, and the already raucous crowd spiraling into pandemonium. Yes Sir Mr. Lambe, you can most certainly call yourself ‘Showtime’ now, and long may you reign, entertain, and bring the pain.

5. Nikki Bascome is ready to shine on the world stage

It’s well-documented how much Bermuda loves Nikki Bascome. He’s a national treasure, hero, and icon at this point. We would totally love for him to continue staging professional bouts in Bermuda, but wouldn’t we also love to see him sparkling under the lights of Madison Square Garden?

I think Nikki is ready to expand his base, go out and try to conquer the world. His technical ability is very impressive, and he delivered a highly intelligent, composed, and skillful performance to overcome a very tough, visibly bigger Ryan Oliver by unanimous decision after eight rounds on Saturday night. It was the kind of performance that would be very much welcomed in London, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or any famous boxing town.

If you’ve never seen Nikki fight, you need to rectify that as soon as practicable. He’s easily one of the best things happening in athletics on this island. He gets markedly more mature with each fight, and with a professional record of 9 wins and 1 loss, he’s tactically and artistically ready to expand his horizons. His speed, agility, and technical mastery of the sweet science is polished now, and he fights like a veteran, but with the passion and hunger of a young warrior.

Ultimately, Nikki will direct his own career; this is very much just my own opinion. He is ready to go to a bigger stage though, especially after the outright mastery he exhibited on Saturday night. Be very proud of this young man, Bermuda, because whether he stays or goes, he will continue to be an inspiration!

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Comments (2)

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  1. Laughing Matter says:

    Nikki needs to fight away a few times so we can see what he really is about .

  2. LoVintz Tota says:

    First and foremost I wanna thank you for this article I really appreciate the kind gesture more than I can put into words! We Me and my coach have trained really hard in the shadows and it feels great to be getting the praise from everyone. So thank you very much from the top and bottom of my heart!

    The only thing that I would like to clear it is who my coach and team really are. I am a very proud member of the JustBoxLTD family founded by my coach and friend Janos Lindsay he is the person who has taught The sweet art and science of boxing no disrespect to the new controversy gym and Leo Richardson but he isn’t the person who teaches me but in every article and recording they label me as such!

    Once again thank you so so so much!

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