Two hard-hitting Jamaican boxers, Ramel ‘Sub Zero’ Lewis and Michael Gardener, will clash tonight in the first quarter-final bout of the Wray and Nephew 2016 Contender series at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium. The tournament that started on March 10 with 16 boxers, has now been whittled down to eight and the winners in this segment will all be guaranteed one of the top financial prizes. These are $2 million to the champion, $500,000 to the runner-up, $250,000 for third place and $200,000 for fourth. Lewis is a veteran of the Contender series and reached the finals as a welterweight in 2012, where he lost to Donovan ‘Police’ Campbell. In his first appearance this year against Fard Muhammad, he showed touches of brilliance, but also the ill effects of a nearly two-year absence from the ring. He won that fight by technical knockout, when Muhammad, a veteran in Mixed Martial Arts, made his debut as a professional boxer. He caught Muhammad with some good punches, but took some himself and was wild at times. He has to improve a lot tonight if he is to win. He acknowledged his weaknesses after that fight and vowed to do better next time around. That next time is tonight and he will be going up against a formidable opponent. In his first fight in the competition, Gardener, who was making his professional debut, was composed going up against American Jose Guzman and his punishing body attacks allowed him to win by knockout in the second round. He is very confident for tonight’s fight and has promised more of what he produced against Guzman. Punching power and stamina will undoubtedly be the two main ingredients tonight and it is obvious that both men are coming into the fight in an attacking mode. It will only be over five rounds, but that will be plenty of time for both men to put their boxing skills and punching power on display. Spectators should therefore have a lot to cheer about, for as long as the fight lasts. The programme starts at 8:30 p.m. and the main bout, which will be broadcast live on TVJ, is scheduled for 9:30.
In light of the release of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) results, it was evident that there was a gender gap with a greater number of females placing in the top one per cent of the country compared to the number of males.Education Minister Nicolette HenryOut of the 174 students who placed in the top one per cent, 104 were female, while 70 were male.The gender gap is an issue which Guyana has seen for a number of years as it relates to academic performances. At the announcement of the results last week, these numbers were addressed by Education Minister Nicolette Henry, who explained that there was approximately the same number of males and females at the primary level.However, the ratio is disrupted at the secondary level, where the number of males is reduced by half.Top student Naila RahamanShe stated, “At the primary level and nursery level, we have ratio of 1:1 of boys and girls. By the time they write CXC, we have two girls to every one boy. So, somewhere along the continuum, we’re losing them. That is data and enough reason for us to act.”She noted that male underachievement at these examinations required “strategic” intervention and hence, a symposium was organised last week by the Ministry in collaboration with the University of Guyana (UG); the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Caricom to begin work on bridging the gender divide.“These issues require evidence-based, scientific and proven strategies to address and, therefore, we’re bringing the experts. We have people who are from the international community, the regional community, our academic community, and other communities.”The NGSA results were announced on Thursday last with the top performer being Nalia Rahaman of Westfield Prep, who secured a perfect score of 529 marks.