SN did not give past champs their due

Stabroek News
December 29, 2001

Dear Editor,

I read your article captioned, 'Sixhead Lewis magnificent triumph - Guyana's first world title win highlighted 2001.' Sir, the heading was great, but when we read it, we found that you were very biased against lots of our past fighters. First, you began with, "Twenty-one years ago after placing Guyana on the map of global sports achievement, boxing created another first of greater significance for the land of many waters." I am a boxing fan and have followed boxing since the early 60's, and I think you should remember Lennox Beckles who though he did not win a world title, put Guyana on the map of global sports. How can you mention Michael Parris before Beckles? Speaking of global sports, how can you leave out James Wren Gilkes who won a gold medal in the 1975 Pan Am games, beating the world's top sprinters, putting Guyana on the map of global sports? In 1978 we had Winfield Braithwaite who won the first ever boxing gold medal in history for Guyana at the Commonwealth Games and put Guyana on the map of global sports.

What about Patrick Ford who fought Fernando (Salvador) Sanchez for the featherweight title of the world? (Sanchez who died in a car accident, is rated as one of the best all-time, pound for pound fighters in the history of boxing.) And the world saw Ford give him a whipping only to lose on a controversial split decision to put Guyana on the map of global sports. Last, but not least, Terrence Ali, who was loved by the world due to his antics of flicking when he won or lost a fight, put Guyana on the map. I can go on and on, but I won't, so instead of not giving our past 'champs' their due, you should give them respect in their sport.

Yours faithfully,

Lin Gonsalves

Sports Editor's note:

The article referred to was a review of sports specifically in the year 2001. The reference to Michael Parris' feat was made because it was a recognised first for Guyana's sport which does not mean that the achievements of other Guyanese are not important.