Saint Lucian light middleweight boxer, Kyghan Mortley, lost his preliminary bout to Colombia’s Alexander Rangel Madariaga last Friday at the AMBC Elite Men &Women Continental Championships now on in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Despite Mortley putting up a strong defence at Friday’s bout, the judges favoured the more aggressive Rangel with a 5-0 decision, with all five judges scoring the fight 30-27.
“I thought the judges’ decision would have been a bit closer,” Mortley. “I trained really hard for this fight. One of my main goals was to be as fit as possible for the fight. I wanted to ensure that my endurance was there, and it was there. I didn’t show any signs of fatigue during the fight.”
He added: “What I need to work on is sharpening my skills set in terms of being more technical. I need to work on delivering my combinations. My volume of punches should have been more.”
Mortley, 28, is one of two boxers representing the island at the major tournament, the other being superheavyweight Leran Regis, 21.
Mortley took up boxing in 2009 and has competed in the Creole Boxing Championships, capturing three gold medals in the welterweight and middleweight divisions. He won a silver medal at the OECS Boxing Championships in the welterweight division, and also competed in many invitational tournaments regionally.
Regis, who was supposed to meet Canada’s Jérôme Feujio on Monday, March 28, in the quarterfinals did so on Tuesday, March 29 (afternoon session), following a decision by organizers last Saturday to declare Monday a rest day.
Bouts are scheduled from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (afternoon session) and 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (evening session) Eastern Caribbean Time. All fights in the tournament will be streamed live during the afternoon and evening sessions and can be viewed here: http://ccebox2022.com/el-evento/
National Head Boxing Coach, Conrad Fredericks, said the young fighters have a great future and have worked hard even during the COVID-19 pandemic to hone their skills.
“Kyghan fought his best,” said Fredericks. “Returning to competitive boxing after two years, he has demonstrated good behaviour. Despite last Friday’s outcome, we’re expecting many great things from him. He has a great future ahead of him.”
Speaking on Regis’s upcoming fight, Fredericks said: “He’s a young and brave fighter and we expect him to do great things in this and future tournaments. We will watch him closely in this tournament, which has turned out to be a rough outing for even many experienced boxers. So we’re hoping that Regis can pull us through the rounds.”
Meanwhile, David “Shakes” Christopher, President of the St. Lucia Boxing Association (SLBA), has also showered praise on Mortley’s outing last Friday. Christopher said that despite Mortley’s career being put on pause for three years following a shoulder injury in 2014, the boxer has put in great effort.
“He fought a good fight, but failed to be aggressive,” said Christopher. “After not competing for quite some time now, he was overly cautious. It’s something he will need to work on going forward, but we’re proud of his effort.”
Christopher also encouraged Regis ahead of his bout to bring his A-game on Tuesday, noting that the youngster is one of the best talents for the future of boxing in Saint Lucia.
The AMBC Elite Men & Women Continental Championships run from March 22 to April 2, and features boxers from 24 countries from the Americas and a Fair Chance Team. Saint Lucia is the sole OECS country competing at the tournament.