Boxing Snippets

‘Haitian Fire’ aiming to spark Koopman

Wendy Toussaint drives a school bus by day.
Come June 15, he’ll be hoping to run Shervantaigh Koopman over in one of the most compelling fights on the “No Mercy” card at Emperors Palace.
The Haitian has been hard at work at his Long Island gym in New York, where he has been based since the age of 17. Now 32, he ranks among the best prospects in promoter Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing stable.
“Wendy is a disciplined and skilled boxer/puncher,” said DeGuardia from White Plains. “He has honed his craft here in New York and has been in the ring with some of the best in the world.”
These include former light-heavyweight world champion Joe Smith, with whom he has sparred many rounds.
Added DeGuardia: “He has matured and has really developed as a fighter. We have high expectations for him, and I believe the South African fans are in for a treat and an exciting fight on June 15th.”
The junior-middleweight has boxed since the age of 10, recently telling the Long Island Press “when you start sparring, some people get a little challenged. I was not scared at all. I love it.”
After a limited foray in the amateurs, “Haitian Fire” linked up with trainer Kevin Zaharios at the Heavy Hitters gym in Ronkonkoma, with whom he has worked for the past seven years.
Speaking to Golden Gloves earlier this week, the trainer was high on Toussaint and his chances in SA.
“Everyone who watches him can immediately see his talent. He’s a smart fighter, an exciting fighter. He has a come-forward style that is very effective.
“Everywhere we go, every gym we walk into, they all say the same thing: He’s a world-class fighter. He’s got all the tools. And I think now, where we’ve got him, he’s got a very legitimate shot. We’re looking for the next step.”
Toussaint has won 15 of his 17 bouts. In one of his two losses he gave a good account of himself against elite junior-middleweight contender Charles Conwell in 2020, losing after wilting late in the bout.
His other loss was technical, a headbutt forcing an early read of the cards in his bout against USBA champion Ardreal Holmes, a decision later described by Teddy Atlas as corrupt. It was a bitter blow, but only made Toussaint more resolute.
“He’s been going good in camp,” said Zaharios, downplaying the possibility of home cooking on the road. “We’ve been to other places, we’re used to that. We understand what it’s all about. Hopefully the judges see it the right way.”

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