World champs take gold from nation’s No. one fighters
November 15, 2002
Guyana’s two newest boxing superstars - World Boxing Council (WBC) cruiserweight champion Wayne ‘Big Truck’ Braithwaite and World Boxing Association/Inter-national Boxing Association junior welterweight champion Vivian `Vicious’ Harris - came face to face with the country’s number one fighters on Wednesday and walked away with the gold.
According to a release from the army’s Public Relations Office, Braithwaite and Harris were, at the time, paying a courtesy call on the Chief-of-Staff (COS) of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Michael Atherly at Base Camp Ayanganna. They were presented with golden tokens by Second-in-Command of the GDF, Colonel Edward Collins and the officer responsible for Administration and Quartering, Colonel Lennox Wilson.
“You have done Guyana, the CARICOM region and all those who are associated with you proud...If we were to carefully check our records, we would find that history was created by the two of you; never was such a remarkable feat achieved at the national or regional level, where two boxers from the same country, within a short period, become world champions,” Brigadier Atherly said while congratulating the two boxers on their outstanding achievements.
In welcoming the two pugilists on behalf of the officers and ranks of the GDF, the COS noted the important role the GDF has played over the years in the boxing fraternity, especially in the amateur category, and particularly in providing the usage of its facilities to both amateur and professional boxers in Guyana.
“In Guyana it is widely known that boxing is a sport the military likes to associate itself with. Clearly because it is one of a fighting nature; it is a contact sport and we saw it fit to get ourselves very involved because it is relevant to the profession of the military and, I am sure that both of you know that the GDF has played a very dominant role in amateur boxing over the last four decades,” Atherly said.
The COS further pointed out that the army had significantly contributed to boxing in Guyana, noting that the army in some meaningful way was involved in some pugilists graduating from the amateur category to the professional ranks.
“I think that our boxing coach Sergeant Lennox Daniels, is probably the person in Guyana who we can say has put the greatest single personal contribution into amateur boxing in this country.
I do not think that we might be able to pinpoint anybody else who has contributed more; for he has worked exceedingly well in the GDF and also outside of this institution to produce boxing to quality standard,” the COS said.
Atherly pledged the GDF’s continued support to amateur boxing and to the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association as well as the Guyana Boxing Council.
He said this is not only aimed at seeing amateurs do well, but also to have the essential spillover into the professional ranks.
The world champions were accompanied on their visit by a large entourage, including Braithwaite’s parents, Ms. Claire Small and Orin Argyle; as well as Harris’s dad, local boxing promoter, Herman Harris.
The fathers of both boxers had served the GDF with distinction.
The two world champions ended their visit after interacting and sharing views with the other officers and ranks in the Camp Ayanganna Auditorium. Their fathers, too, expressed joy and future expectations.
According to the release, Vivian’s father, a retired Staff Sergeant, had represented the army at the national level in amateur boxing. He was the GDF inter-unit Welterweight Champion in 1969, while Argyle was the first member of the GDF to have been qualified as an international linesman and assistant referee in the field of football.