OAHU – Omar Cabbab slashed his way through three rounds at Pearl City last weekend.
Cabbab, Kaua’i’s Junior Olympic State Champion at 145 pounds, was engaged in a Police Activities League (PAL) match with Sugar Ray Rodrigues, the 138-pound champ.
PAL matches on Oahu are no-decision bouts. Both Cabbab and Rodrigues became state champions by virtue of being unopposed after they weighed in before the Junior Olympic Boxing Championships for 15 and 16-year olds.
The local champions receive a $400 reimbursement check for their travel costs if they decide to go on to the Junior Olympic National Championships at New Orleans.
World champions have emerged from this tournament including Mike Tyson.
Kaua’i’s new champion used to come to the boxing gym at Hanapepe as a chubby kid tagging along and looking up to boxer Dustin Rubin.
Now Rubin helps coach Cabbab but has to look up to the fighter who stands five inches taller.
“Omar is the Hawaiian Tommy Hearns but better looking,” Rubin said. “Omar is very intelligent and a good kid. He works hard and deserves to be a champion based on that alone.”
Issac Josiah, Fite Nite inc.’s middleweight champion fought in two open division bouts which were also held at Pearl City.
Josiah practically chased his two opponents, Troy Hartman and Roland Kauwe out of the ring, throwing bomb after bomb trying to knock both of them out by the third round.
“Isaac has a professional style of fighting where you don’t bother with pitty pat punches but wait to throw punches that hurt,” his coach said.
However, pitty pat punches count for points in amateur boxing. One of the three judges always voted for Isaac in each of the bouts.”
Hartman of Kona, who was defeated by Kameha Balmores of Lawai in his last bout, won in a split decision over Josiah.
Winless Kauwe finally got his first win in a split decision over Josiah.
Josiah vows to train harder and develop better left hooks and uppercuts to compliment his strong right.
He wants rematches with both Hartman and Kauwe.
But Hartman’s coach Sonny Westbrook has already indicated that he doesn’t want anything to do with Josiah for a tournament in Kona on April 12.
Wetsbrook said, “No, no, we no like Josiah. Please give us a rematch with Balmores. But Kameha has headed for parts unknown.”