By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WITH live boxing matches off limits due to the coronavirus pandemic, D’Angelo Swaby and his newly formed Hrizan Sports Promotions team will bring the first virtual professional boxing card to the Bahamas.
Under the theme: “Hot Blooded, Hot Tempered Boxing At Its Best”, the four-match show is scheduled for Saturday, September 23 beginning at 3.30pm and will live on pay-per-view on LiveSportscaster.com. The tickets cost $10 and can be purchased online at www.livesportscaster.com.
Swaby, one of the featured fighters on the show, said after months of planning they were able to put together the online streaming service because local boxing shows have been prohibited from having fans in the stands because of Covid-19.
“We have four fights, one of them we are still negotiating to put on between two American female fighters after one of the local male fighters pulled out and so we had to find a replacement,” Swaby said.
“We have some fighters on the show who were preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games, but after they didn’t get to compete in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they decided to go pro. We have some fighters who also have some experience as pro fighters already. So it should be quite an interesting show.”
Swaby, who has a 1-2 win-loss record, will be taking on Renardo McKenzie in his pro debut; Tyrone Oliver (1-1) will face Jamaican Kevin Hilton, who is 7-7, and Israel Johnson, making his pro debut, will square off against David Wallace, who is 4-2. Each fight will be four rounds.
“We are trying to get people back into boxing, but we’re leaning more on the technical side where they can watch the show right from their homes rather than being there in person,” Swaby said. “So that’s why the tickets are so affordable. We just want to get people engaged in what online is right now.”
Through Hrizan Sports Promotions, Swaby said he’s working on a two-year plan to bring another Commonwealth title fight to the Bahamas.
Not since 2008 has a Bahamian been able to hold onto a Commonwealth title – Jermaine ‘Choo Choo’ Mackey was the last of four Bahamians to achieve that feat when he clinched the super middleweight title over Michael Gbenga.
Stevie ‘the Heat’ Larrimore, won the super lightweight title in 1989 over Lester Ellis and Ray Minus Jr won the bantamweight title over Paul Ferreri in 1986 and held it until 1990.
Gomeo Brennan first won the middleweight title in 1963 over Mick Leahy, only to lose it to Tuna Scanlan in 1964. Brennan regained it in 1965 over Blair Richardson, only to lose it to Richardson a year later in a rematch.
“Right now, every British Commonwealth title is being held by a British fighter,” Swaby pointed out. “So I have a two-year plan where our fighters will go for a zonal title fight next year and with at least five fights under their belt, they can get registered for a [possible Commonwealth title fight.
“Once they get on the list, they can be eligible to fight for a title. There are only 54 countries who can fight for a title, which makes it easier for us to get it. Once you have a British Commonwealth title and they defend it, you can move on to fight for one of the prestigious world title fights.”
With this being the first venture of its kind in the Bahamas, Swaby said he’s excited about taking the sport to the next level with the PPV boxing show.
“I’m really happy to see these guys fighting again,” Swaby said. “Some of them didn’t get in any professional action up to 2019, so it’s good to get them fighting again and to have boxing back in the Bahamas.
“I’m really excited about it because a lot of people are catching onto it. It’s like watching Netflix, so I’m pretty excited about it.”
Swaby said he‘s hoping that the Bahamian public will be receptive to the new initiative and support the boxing show.