Amateur boxing is going to really find a hook on the Cayman sports scene in the future. That was evident on Saturday night with two exhibition bouts and seven pulsating amateur bouts involving six visiting Jamaicans.
Four Caymanians saw off their Jamaican opponents at the first ever boxing show at Boatswain’s Beach; Kendall Ebanks, Dariel Ebanks, Tracey Seymour and Jason Parchment, coach Donie Anglin’s son.
Referees were Philmore Barnett and Michael Peart.
The two locals who lost to Jamaicans – Curtis Henderson and Eric McField – got majority, 2-1, verdicts so they were not outclassed.
In the all-Cayman clash Troy ‘The Real Deal’ O’Neil narrowly outpointed Peter ‘Lightning’ Lewison. Anglin went in Lewison’s corner deliberately to give the underdog an edge. It almost worked.
With the new boxing gym opening soon, the sport is bound to flourish. Kendall, Eric and Dariel all have ambitions of reaching the next London Olympics. They’ve got three years to prepare and it’s definitely not impossible.
Coach Anglin could not thank Boatswain’s Beach staff enough for their support and also the numerous sponsors who willingly came forward despite harsh economic times.
Anglin said: ‘I’m talking to the boxing association to see if we can go back to the Turtle Farm later in the year. In the meantime, something should happen in May.
‘I was very emotional because so many people from West Bay came out to support the show. Some I hadn’t seen for years. They showed so much love and thanked me for bringing the show to West Bay. I had tears in my eyes.’
A couple even flew in from Detroit for the show and enjoyed it so much they said they will always come to amateur boxing events in the future.
Anglin was pleased with his fighters’ performances.
‘Jason impressed me but he showed that he has a lot more learning to do.
‘I was pleased for Kendall, he impressed me the most, mainly because he followed instructions.
‘Dariel showed a lot of heart considering he was in a motor vehicle accident the night before and got to bed late. He had also been sick with the flu in the two weeks before.
‘Eric could have done better. He didn’t follow up when he had him on the ropes. His opponent said that Eric hits really hard and he was a tough man to beat.
‘Tracey fought her heart out despite being hampered by an injured knee. She stayed focus throughout the fight. Sasha (her opponent) had a lot of respect for Tracey after. Curtis was too tense and got tired in the end.
‘Troy and Peter’s fight was well matched. It was close and Peter tired in the last round. Peter surprised me. He caught Troy with three punches straight. If I had been in Troy’s corner, he would have been too lax. I knew how to make the fight harder for Troy.’
O’Neil said: ‘To be honest, I was really expecting a knockout. I hit him a couple of times with uppercuts and hurt him.
‘I was expecting a cleaner fight, but I got into his style of brawling. He caught me with a couple of shots but they were not that effective.
‘I felt I was only 50 per cent on the night because work commitments got in the way. I’ll give him a rematch if he wants or I’ll take on a Jamaican, no problem, in my next fight.’
In the meantime, O’Neil may fight on a mixed martial arts bill scheduled for May next.
Anglin added: ‘The Jamaicans said overall the results were fair. Clarke said Kendall had improved a lot. He wants him a third time but Kendall should fight somebody else now.
‘Our sponsors are happy. One of them, Hardware Express, said that lots of people went to store and said how great it was and how much they enjoyed it. The ones who didn’t go or couldn’t make it because they couldn’t get a baby sitter said they regret missing it.
‘Overall, I’m very happy. The lighting was not good, but it was better than what the Jamaicans put on.’