Morgan’s Coach-of-the-Year award should be automatic
By Isaiah Chappelle
January 9, 2004
LAST year the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) did not even nominate him, but Colin Morgan had perhaps the best credentials for the Coach-of-the-Year award.
This year, Morgan’s award should be automatic, having successfully steered World Boxing Council cruiserweight champion Wayne ‘Big Truck’ Braithwaite to two defence successes, a historic feat for a Guyanese boxer.
On October 11, 2002, Braithwaite became the second Guyanese to give the country a world title and with that achievement, Morgan became the first Guyanese trainer to produce a Guyanese world champion.
Morgan was the driving force behind Big Truck’s rise to world champion status. When Braithwaite seemed to be finished and the World Boxing Council cruiserweight title was slipping away, Morgan literally slapped some fight into him. Big Truck went out and finished opponent Vincenzo Cantatore in the tenth round.
Morgan was in Braithwaite’s corner for his first successful defence of the world title in February in Miami against Ravea Springs and was back again with the champion in Atlantic City to meet challenger Luis Andres Pineda, last month.
In the first defence, Braithwaite took four rounds to dismiss the challenge to his crown and in the second, it ended in 1:27 minutes.
Morgan’s achievement crowns a life spent helping boxers and sometimes the very GBBC that forgot him, when the glory that he richly deserves should have been showered on him.
To compound the injustice by the boxing body, Morgan did not even get a nomination from the floor. And the media missed the moment, too.
Colin Morgan was a boxer before turning to coaching some 25 years ago, thus he understands the problems local boxers face and helps them.
He wore the National amateur featherweight crown, but was injured in 1982 and stopped boxing but never came out of the gym.
Back in 1984, he staged Under-16 boxing every Sunday, with boxers coming from Big Times, Young Achievers, Ricola and Albouystown YMCA, exposing pugilists who became household names -- Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis, Raul Frank, Andrew Murray, Gairy St Clair and Shawn Garnett.
Morgan began taking professional boxers for bouts in Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and England. Once he took Linden Mortley, Lalta Narine, Charles Crawford and Wayne Harris to Trinidad & Tobago. Harris also went to England.
The coach also made five tours to Barbados in the early 90s with amateur boxers.
At that time, Morgan was at the Albouystown YMCA and Gairy St Clair was under his charge, but the boxer went across to the Guyana Defence Force gym in his later amateur years.
In 1994, Morgan went to the USA with the late Andrew Murray’s camp in Detroit City, for the boxer to prepare for the fight with Ike Quartey. However, he did not go France for the fight because of payment problems with the promoter.
The trainer remained in the USA, helping Gairy St Clair and Sixhead Lewis, among others, to jump-start their careers there. St Clair was 16-0 when he parted company with Morgan, and Lewis improved his record from nine to 15-0. He also oversaw Andrew Murray climbing back to number seven in the world ranking.
The trainer assisted Braithwaite to line up with someone who looked for boxers to fight in Australia where the boxer made a name for himself. Then Morgan got the work permit for him in the USA.
Of course, Braithwaite’s achievements are now public knowledge, but the man behind his success is rarely acknowledged. That could change, however, with this year’s award voting on January 30, if the panellists are true to themselves.