Stabroek Sports’ Boxing’s Hall of Fame
By Eion Jardine A funny thing happened in 1964. Two sons of the soil were born months apart with no inclination that they would not only feature in the same sport at which they would both excel but that their paths would cross in the ring and one of them would be the winner.They would also both go on to fight for world titles although they both would be defeated.They would each have 42-fight professional careers. In the early 1960s, a few years prior to this country gaining Independence, Georgetown was a quaint little city, a far cry from what it is today.Wayne HarrisWayne Harris and Anthony `The Pear’ Andrews were both born in Georgetown, growing up in the undeveloped city where trains and bicycles were established modes of transportation.They would eventually go on to stamp their names on the elite list of boxers who have done this country proud. Harris was born March 13, 1964. He came from a boxing family and his younger brother Vivian was later to achieve, what he Wayne missed out on becoming, a world champion.Harris, just 20, began his professional career with a fifth round TKO over Rockford Abrams in a six-round contest on December 26, 1984.Wins over Cliff Jones, Maxie `The Streetfighter’ Sargeant and Simeon Thomas set up the fight for the Guyana light middleweight title. That fight ended in an anti-climax after his opponent, Mortimer Cornell, was disqualified making Harris Guyana champion on August 28 1989.A win on points over the late Albert Browne in their 10 round clash set the stage for his showdown with another boxing legend in Lennox Blackmore.At the time Harris star was on the rise and it was thought that Blackmore would be no match for the young, hungry Harris. The fight was for the super welterweight title of Guyana and in a stunning result, Blackmore ensured that Harris’s O – must go handing the rising star (5-0) his first defeat via a TKO in round nine.Undaunted Harris bounced back off the canvas racking up wins over Luis Infante, Joseph Nelson, Charles Crawford and Ellis Alberts.A minor blip occurred when he lost to Luis Garcia via a unanimous decision at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.Harris had campaigned for a while in Trinidad and Tobago and it was in the land of calypso and soca that he won his first international title, defeating Anthony Browne on July 20, 1990 in Port-of-Spain for the WBC FECARBOX middleweight title. Three years later on May 4, 1993 Harris got a crack at WBA world middleweight champion Reggie Johnson’s title in Colorado USA but lost a unanimous decision.Harris retired in 2007 with a record of 42 fights, 20 wins, 21 losses, one draw with 10 knockouts.All told he participated in six Guyana title fights, four WBC FECARBOX title fights, three WBA FedeLatin titles and the WBA world title. Some months after Harris was born Andrews came into the world on June 18, 1964.Andrews began his professional career in a blaze of glory winning his first three fight by TKOs.He was handed his first defeat by the legendary former amateur boxer Michael Anthony Parris, Guyana’s only Olympic boxing medallist but avenged that defeat a mere two fights later winning the second fight by TKO. Both fights were for the bantamweight title of Guyana.Largely successful when he fought at home, Andrews’ career suffered when he moved to the US. He had racked up a record of nine wins and one defeat before going abroad and he was to quickly learn that the grass was not greener in the US, suffering a lean patch and losing four fights and drawing two.Returning home he was to lose his first fight against wily veteran Barrington Cambridge on March 5, 1989 at the National Park for the welterweight title of Guyana. He was to avenge that loss to Cambridge, winning a split decision on May 27, 1991 but a defeat this time by TKO in round four to Michael Benjamin on January 19, 1992 for the welterweight title left him contemplating his future. His improved fortunes seemed to coincide with new manager, the shrewd Odinga Lumumba, who was successful in negotiating his world title shot. Andrews and Harris’s path were destined to cross and the two were to engage each other twice.The first fight took place on December 4, 1993 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall for the WBC FECARBOX title and Andrews won by TKO in round eight.The two battled a second time for the WBC Fedelatin super middleweight title and Andrews walked away with a TKO in round 11.Then came the best challenge for a world title I have ever seen by all the Guyanese boxers in my lifetime. 100-1 were the odds when Andrews took on George Fernando Castro May 27 1995. Andrews was ahead going into the last round 105-104 but lost by TKO in the final round. He was only the second boxer to ever knock down Castro who had over 100 bouts.Had he won that upset would have rivalled Buster Douglas’s shocking defeat of Iron Mike Tyson.Andrews‘record reads 42 bouts, 27 wins, 13 losses and two draws.Anthony `The Pearl’ Andrews and Wayne Harris are the latest inductees into Stabroek Sports’ Boxing’s Hall of Fame.