By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
GOLD COAST, Australia — On the defensive from the start of the fight, Rashield Williams tried to come back in the final two rounds. But it was a little too late for him to avoid the early elimination in his debut at the XXI Commonwealth Games.
He lost a 5-0 decision to the more aggressive Jonas Jonas from Namibia, who took advantage of his height to prevail in their Round of 32 in the men’s 64 kilogram class yesterday at the Oxenford Studios.
“The guy was faster and much taller, but I only had two weeks to train for this fight,” he said. “I put my all in it out there, but he came out with the win. There’s nothing I can do about that. The best man won. That’s him.”
If he had a chance to do it all again, Williams said he would have definitely tried to get in more than two weeks of training in Cuba. He said if he had a month or two to train there, it would have been a different story. As Jonas lunged in with his jab, Williams found himself holding up his two hands to defend his face.
Then he tried to counter punch by going to Jonas’ body.
“The association didn’t have the funds to send me off to train, so this is what I had,” Williams said.
Based on what he saw, coach Valentino Knowles said Jonas was a great fighter, but he still felt Williams won the fight.
“Rashield gave up the first round, but I think he did enough tonight to win the second and third rounds,” Williams stated. “I don’t feel like the final decision was what it was. I felt he did enough to come back and win the fight. Then on the other hand, bringing Rashield here with only two weeks in the Cuban training camp wasn’t enough.”
Williams, 31, said he may now have to contemplate turning professional if he can’t get the support for him to continue as an amateur.
“Something has to happen. I need my training, more help,” he insisted. “I can’t be home all by myself. There’s no help there. No one is helping me. So with only two weeks before a competition like this, it’s not good.”
Knowles said he agrees that Williams needs a lot more support because he didn’t fight up to his potential.
“To bring a fighter of Rashield’s calibre, I was expecting great things coming into this games, but his preparation wasn’t there,” Williams said. “He was ready mentally, but physically he was not. Being home in the Bahamas training where he’s the only boxer with Carl training in Cuba, we don’t have anybody that can give him the workout that he needs.”
Nor have they gotten the funds to push their amateur programme further than where it is now.