In sport, as in life itself, a worthy warrior can suffer injustice, and defeat. Many heroes have been cheated out of glory and robbed of their hard earned and deserving kudos. Cheddi Jagan said it best when he encapsulated his own misfortune, “Cheated, but not defeated.” In 2006, I was declared the winner of a historic State Senate seat in the USA by many exit polls, but, lo and behold, that groundbreaking achievement was reversed to “lost by a fraction of a percent.”
It was not lost on me when I spoke to Guyanese boxing hero and World Title aspirant, Elton Dharry, that he was cheated out of his World Title dream by the unjustified and controversial stoppage by the referee, which enabled his opponent Andrew Moloney to de declared the winner on technical grounds (TKO). This controversial decision demands review and reconsideration.
Elton told me that he was still seeing, and that the ring doctor did not perform any tests prior to recommending a stoppage, that the Australians wanted to keep their sole World Title in boxing in Australia, and that he was in control of the fight, and would have beaten Moloney. He also said that the other doctors who examined him during and immediately after the fight said that the ring doctor was wrong in ordering a stoppage. Those who have competed in sports in Australia, will tell you how difficult it is to win Down Under.
The Australian newspapers said that “Andrew Moloney picked up an interim WBA belt with a gritty, hard-fought win over Elton Dharry…The gutsy Dharry (24-6-1, 14 KO) had Moloney (21-0, 14 KO) in serious trouble in the fifth round, landing a beautiful right uppercut counter that stunned the 28-year-old Aussie contender-in fact, Moloney’s right knee hit the canvas, and it should have been scored a knockdown, but it happened so quickly that it’s legitimately likely that referee Ferlin Marsh just didn’t see the knee touch down.” Maloney said, of Elton: “He’s a tough, tough man. World titles don’t come easy, and I was expecting a tough fight, and that’s what he gave me. Thank you, Elton.” (SB Nation).
Guyana’s Head of State, President Granger, must call his counterpart, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and demand that a rematch for this interim World Boxing Title be given to Guyanese hero Elton Dharry against Andrew Maloney. There is precedent for this type of international diplomacy. Cricket legend, Clive Lloyd would have been lost to West Indies cricket had it not been for the spirited request by the then Guyanese Head of State, Prime Minister Burnham, to his Australian counterpart Gough Whitlam, that Lloyd be excused from his prior, supervening Australian club contract and be allowed to play for the West Indies. The government also promptly paid Clive’s airfare back to Guyana when he was released from the contract. The rest is history!
Guyanese Elton Dharry, now 33, deserves similar help from Guyana, as he nears the end of his brilliant boxing career. That is the least the government can do for a worthy Guyanese who flew the Golden Arrowhead so proudly on overseas soil, and showed the world what great and gritty people come from Guyana! Dharry stood up for Guyana. Guyana must stand up for him now!