Andre “Showtime” Lambe more than lived up to his nickname at the Victualling Yard in Dockyard, with an impressive display in front of vociferous home crowd on Saturday night.
Featuring in Bermuda for the first time since his first-round defeat at the Pan American Games qualifiers in Managua, Nicaragua, in April, Lambe, representing Forty Rego’s Gym, thrived within home comforts dictating much of the bout against the vastly more experienced Deyshawn Williams, of Eastern Queens Boxing Club in New York.
“I always try to come out and put on a show; that’s why they call me show time,” said Lambe, who got the crowd on their feet with a monstrous left hook in the first round to knock down his opponent. “I caught him with a couple of big shots and could see he staggered a bit so I tried to press on him, but you can’t always afford to just rush in because you can get caught. That’s why I took my time and picked him off when I could.
“I just tried to stick to my game plan, weather the storm at times and pick my shots when the opportunity came. He is a very experienced fighter with over 50 fights and so I had to be cautious at times.
“I love being part of these big fight nights; it’s my favourite thing, coming out and showing off for my home crowd. However, when I get in the ring I’m fully focused, try to stick to my game plan and let my ring work speak for itself.
“I always get uplifted fighting in front of a home crowd. I haven’t fought here in a while because I’ve been competing overseas, so it definitely feels good to be back home.”
Meanwhile, Michael Parsons showed all of his experience with a unanimous points victory against the much younger Jack McGrath, also visiting from Eastern Queens Boxing Club.
Parsons used all of his ring knowhow to keep out of the reach of his opponent, moving rhythmically and picking his shots when the opportunity arose to inflict a first defeat on McGrath, who had previously won eight bouts, three from knockout.
There was also joy for Jaylon Roberts, who was awarded a unanimous victory in an entertaining bout against visiting Shaquille Leon, another Eastern Queens Boxing Club fighter, coping with his opponent’s greater height and reach advantage to win the decision.
As well as traditional boxing bouts, the undercard also included two enthralling kick-boxing fights with Krista Dyer, of the Bermuda Sanshou Association, meeting Catherine Raptis, of Sitan Gym Muay Thai in Astoria, New York, and Ryley Mason, of the BSA, debuting against Gemma Fleming, of the Wat Gym in Manhattan.
Against the experienced Fleming, Mason, fighting in the K1 discipline for the first time, gave a strong account of herself, but ultimately came out on the wrong end of a closes decision.
However, despite the defeat, Mason, who has won gold internationally in her favoured discipline of Sanshou, was grateful for the opportunity to experience the big occasion in front of friends and family.
“It felt really good being out there tonight,” said the 18-year-old. “I prepared really hard for the fight and it’s just a shame that I lost. However, Gemma is such a good fighter and so experienced so it was an amazing opportunity to fight her and an incredible experience that I hope I can learn from.
“This is my first time fighting in a K1 discipline fight and so I think Gemma’s added experience, proved to be the main difference. The night as a whole was just incredible. Bermuda was so encouraging and all of my family and friends were out here to support me.
“To walk out into that atmosphere was amazing. It was my first fight in Bermuda and that made it really special. The atmosphere, the energy, the volume from everyone was just so special to walk out to and just so grateful for everyone for their support.”
There was greater joy for Dyer, who avenged her debut boxing defeat to Sara Buczek, of Canada, on the undercard of Nicki Bascome’s fight card in November, with a unanimous victory against Catherine Raptis, of Sitan Gym in New York.
“It feels awesome to back on a big undercard and win this time round,” said Dyer, who won gold at the Pan American Wushu Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last November.
“Sometimes when you lose it can get in your head a bit so it made me train harder and come back more focused and leave it all out in the ring.
“I love fighting in front of massive home crowds like this. It gives you an added boost and to me it’s better than a cup of coffee; what a feeling.”