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Saint Lucia’s Nikaela Khodra Gets Silver Medal On Impressive Debut

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Saint Lucian female light heavyweight boxer, Nikaela Khodra, made an impressive mark earlier this month when she picked up silver medal in her first competitive bout.

Khodra made her debut at the second edition of the Patrick Forde Memorial Tournament, which will was held at the National Gymnasium in Georgetown, Guyana, to packed capacity on Sunday, February 19, 2023.

She came up against Trinidadian Leeann Boodram, who has 27 fights and 10 years of experience.

The tournament was a collaboration between the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) and Alford McDonald of McDonald Promotions, and was designed to afford young boxers much-needed experience.

The young boxer was accompanied to the tournament by Assistant Coach, Hilary Dalson.

Khodra, 21, joined the Vigie Boxing Gym nearly a year ago, as part of a sports-related course she’s pursuing at a tertiary institution. A regular at the gym, she’s best known for her achievements in basketball.

But since joining our Vigie Boxing Gym last year, Khodra has demonstrated a natural ability to excel in the sport of boxing. So much so that she has impressed not only her coaches, but also fellow boxers. Her debut in boxing, she recounts, was an encouraging accomplishment of which she is proud.

“I think the match went excellently,” Khodra said. “I really do think I won. There were two times when I thought she would have gotten a standing eight count, which would have helped me win because I eventually lost by just one point. Nevertheless, I know that I put on an exceptional performance. I mean, to go up against a professional boxer and lose by one point is an accomplishment in itself. I’m actually proud of myself for the show that I put on. I believe it shows how much potential we have here in Saint Lucia and the skills I have been able to acquire in a short space of time. I’m very eager to continue with my sport.”

So impressive was Khodra’s bout that President of the Guyana Boxing Association, Steve Ninvalle, has commended the young boxer, President of the St. Lucia Boxing Association, David “Shakes” Christopher, and Coaches Conrad Fredericks and Hilary Dalson, for a job well done.

“Nikaela has done Saint Lucia very proud,” Ninvalle said. “I was extremely surprised by her determination and tenacity in the ring. Seeing that this was her first time in competitive boxing, she would have gone three rounds with an immensely more experienced opponent. But her ring craft surprised me. I think the reason why the fight did not go her way was because of her inexperience. Many times she would have tagged her opponent, but she did not have that killer instinct to know when her opponent was hurt and when to jump in and finish it off. She has a long way to go once she remains focused and dedicated to the sport.”

Khodra stated that the tournament was a great experience in terms of being able to network with other coaches. She said Ninvalle’s encouragement was also more reason for her to continue in the sport.

“It was also great hearing from the President of the Guyana Boxing Association who said that I put on such a great match and that he was very impressed with my skills,” the young boxer said. “That meant a lot to me.”

She added: “I just have to keep putting in the work. The experience in Guyana lets us know what we need to work on and add or remove from our programme in preparation for the World Champs and just give everything I have.”

For other females hoping to get into the sport, Khodra says: “It feels great being able to show other girls that this is possible, that this is a sport that they can do also. Especially being the only fighter that Saint Lucia sent to the tournament was itself something worth being said. I’m incredibly proud of the coaches, both in Saint Lucia and those who took us in over in Guyana. The experience was just absolutely incredible and I think it’s something that I will definitely cherish for the rest of my life.”

The St. Lucia Boxing Association (SLBA) selected Khodra for the tournament as the SLBA continues to seek opportunities for our boxers to hone their craft.

“We’re proud of Nikaela,” said SLBA President, David “Shakes” Christopher. “For her first time entering that square against a more seasoned boxer with 20-odd fights and fight all three rounds and lose by just one point. I think it’s a huge achievement; that’s a win for her by itself. We’ll continue to work with her and develop and prepare her for the IBA Women’s Championships in India and any other tournament that comes around.”

Christopher added: “It’s good to see that Saint Lucia now has a female boxer taking the sport seriously. We want to thank the Ministry of Youth Development & Sports, St. Lucia Olympic Committee (SLOC) Inc., Nikaela’s parents, and especially the organizers in Guyana for inviting her to this major tournament in Guyana.”

Meanwhile, Khodra has been selected to compete in the International Boxing Association (IBA) Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi, India. Over 200 competitors from 40 countries have confirmed their participation at the event, which will take place from March 15-26, 2023.

SOURCE: St. Lucia Boxing Association. Headline photo: Saint Lucian light heavyweight boxer, Nikaela Khodra, left, with Trinidadian opponent, Leeann Boodram, following their February 19 bout in Georgetown, Guyana.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulations 🎊 young lady…The sky is not the limit cause there are footprints on the moon….

  2. Many more opportunities to come my fren u keep that head up high and continue to strive for the best u go girl 🇱🇨🇱🇨🇱🇨

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