Viv Parsons of the Afewee Club in Brixton settled the account of the England Lionesses football team by going to Spain and defeating the home country’s representative, Naraya Arroyo, in the final of the featherweight division of the international Enrique Rodriguez Cal Memorial Tournament at Palencia. After the winner was presented with the Gold Medal on the Podium the attendance sang national anthem “God Save The King”, thereby wrong-footing the commentator who said it was “la Reina” (the Queen). Perhaps he was thinking about the queen of the ring … Viv. (At least the British national anthem has words to be able to confuse, where the Spanish equivalent is silent). Earlier in the week Parsons had carried the England flag in the procession of national representatives into the hall for the opening ceremony.
Viv provided a competent and controlled performance against an opponent who never stopped coming forward. With the scoring shown at the end of each round, Arroyo must have known that as the last round began she needed a knockout to win. That was when she was the most dangerous. Referees had shown a tendency to give a standing-count readily. It needed only one decisive blow by the Spanish boxer to upset the balance. Parsons, however, avoided Arroyo’s punches while still scoring freely with her own. When the referee raised her hand in triumph, the scorecards were declared on screen showing that the South Londoner had attained a clear victory.
While the action took place in the ring on the auditorium floor, the audience were arranged above in semi-circle on the first floor, thus giving a muted aspect. My brother said: “In Spain with its bull-fighting tradition it doesn’t do for spectators to sit too close to the action”. The rather fearsome frown on the face of the bovine mascot seems to confirm that impression.
CaribCommx thanks England Boxing for the photographs