Charles Cox took care of business!
After entering the ring at 80 kilogrammes in the Centro de Entrenamiento Olimpico facility, the solidly built Cox landed those right-handed jabs backed by rock-solid upper cuts that effectively outdid his opponent Eliezer Caraballo of Puerto Rico.
Competing at the 19th Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile, the three-minute bout lasted 2:20 minutes as the referee Paola Falorni of Italy rewarded the Barbadian the match after a seemingly tired Carballo kept walking into some punches unleashed by Cox.
It was a well-deserved win for Cox who advanced into the quarter-final round in the presence of Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) President Sandra Osborne, Vice-President Cameron Burke and former BOA President Steve Stoute who were there to support the team.
Cox took the opportunity to showcase his capabilities as an invitee to his maiden Pan Am Games and said he was happy to have picked up the win.
“I am very excited and happy that this is my first international win, I am very happy about it. Advancing to the quarter-finals has put me one more step towards medalling for these games and that is the ultimate goal right now. Getting to the Olympics would be the top tier in the semi-finals and finals but one step at a time,” Cox told NATIONSPORT.
Regarding his bout against Caraballo, Cox wearing a blue uniform on the night used his height as an advantage to overpower the Puerto Rican who was much shorter and struggled with
“I am a taller guy, so I used my reach more, stepping, stepping but he closed the distance quite fast and then, I realised I’m the stronger guy in the middle, so that just worked in my favour. Landing shots, trying to avoid shots and when I realised certain shots were hurting him, I just kept going for them,” Cox explained.
While Cox pulled off a great showing, fellow Barbadian Jabali Breedy missed his chance after losing to Jose Gonzáles of Venezuela. It was not the outcome Breedy had hoped for in his 51kilogrammes battle after coming into the match high on confidence.
While he missed his shot at qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics, all is not lost for Breedy who still has a few upcoming opportunities to do so.
Coach of the Barbados boxing team, Laurence Hunte said he was pleased with the efforts of his fighters.
“I was proud of both of them starting with Jabali, he had a difficult opponent, I think they knew what Jabali was bringing to the table and they opted to fight a more defensive fight. He (Gonzáles) wasn’t penalised by the judges and referees for running but still, it was up to us to turn the tables and unfortunately, we fell a little short.
“In terms of Charles, he really pulled out all the stops, he lost the first round but we saw some weaknesses there that he capitalised on in the second and third rounds and then rewarded us with an eight count which then stopped the match. I was proud of Charles, this is a great victory for him,” Hunte explained.
Female boxer Kimberly Gittens will step into the ring tomorrow.