The Cayman boxing crowd witnessed a unique but sad occasion on the Lions Centre undercard.
There were three other fights and the main support featured Saoul Mamby the former light-welterweight champion. Mamby is a freak of nature because he is at an age when many people are already retired from regular jobs, much less for boxing. A father of six and granddad of 11, Mamby is 60 years old!
He is featured in the Guinness World of Records as the only fighter to have boxed in five different decades, starting in the Sixties. Historic events that happened in 1969 include Concorde taking to the air for the first time, the first heart transplant was made, John Lennon and Yoko Ono conducted their bed-in, the first men landed on the moon and Richard Nixon is sworn in as president. Cayman Islands population was around 10,000 and Cayman Airways had only started the previous year.
Mamby is a Vietnam vet. The New Yorker hadn’t fought since 2000. He came out of retirement ‘because it is something I love doing’ he said and took on 32-year-old Jamaican Anthony Osbourne, someone young enough to be his son. New York-based Osbourne had only won six out of 32 previous bouts.
It went the full 10 rounds only because Osbourne treated Mamby with the utmost respect and didn’t have the heart to knock him out. At the end of some rounds, one wag in the crowd shouted: ‘Well done, grandpa!’
‘I wanted Saoul to end the fight with dignity, on his feet,’ Osbourne said.
Well he certainly did that and got a rousing ovation from the crowd.
Mamby was reluctant to agree not to fight again. Yet he is unsteady on his feet, slurs his speech and fought like the old man he is and was fortunate that Osbourne showed compassion. For his own sake he should be consigned from the ring now for ever. No boxing commission should give him a license to fight again. He has nothing left to prove. Hopefully, this was his 85th – and last – ‘contest’.