Dee Dee Ebanks would have been so proud had he lived long enough to see it.
The newly opened boxing gym got its first taste of action on Saturday night and it was a fitting tribute in the memory of the old trainer who died a few years.
He spent all his life trying to get the government to build a dedicated boxing gym.
Well the D Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gym was heaving to its 400 capacity with a show combining white collar bouts with amateur ones. (White collar boxers tend to be office types who box mainly for fitness.)
It was fitting that Alden McLaughlin, the former minister of sport who was so instrumental in getting the $1.2 million, 5,000 square foot gym built was there.
Eight contests were made and every one was well matched and entertaining.
Jason Parchment, son of coach and referee Donie Anglin, atoned for his disappointing showing in Bahamas two weeks ago with a two round stoppage of novice Cruz Barnett, who happens to be the son of the other night’s ref, Philmore Barnett.
Cruz has plenty of potential and should not be discouraged by this loss. It’s just experience he lacks.
In the first of the night’s white collar bouts, Luke Willingdon outpointed Angus Dacker and then Shane Gallery outpointed Wilson Reyes.
Dariel Ebanks hopes to go to the next Olympics in London and took another step in the learning curve by stopping Peter ‘Lightning’ Lewison in the third round.
Lewison was as brave as ever but just didn’t have the technique to trouble the tricky light-heavyweight southpaw.
The next bout was a white collar thriller with Warren Wills stopping Simon Raftopocous in the second round.
Kieran ‘The Angry Scotsman’ came into the ring wearing a kilt to rapturous applause but it was his opponent Greg Crawley who took the honours, with a third round stoppage.
James Brendling used his advantages in youth and weight on his white collar debut to outpoint Gareth ‘The Pride of Wales’ Davies in another entertaining encounter.
The show closed with an amateur bout between Bruce Coulson and Eric McField. Each round was tight and hard fought and McField edged it on the judges’ scorecards.
The splendid night was organised by coaches James Burch and Donie Anglin in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Amateur Boxing Association.
Burch said: ‘I think there’ll be more shows, definitely for the white collar guys. We had 10 fighters this time round and hope to get a few more next time.
‘The next show will be for the local amateurs only which is the reason we organise them in the first place, to help with proceeds so that the Jamaicans and Bahamians can come over.
‘We’ve also got the Olympics coming up and we want to help fighters like Dariel, Jason and Kendall Ebanks to get more competition.
‘I thought tonight was a great success. I think everyone enjoyed it. It was our first time here and there are a few things to iron out but hopefully in two or three months we’ll have our local boys back fighting.
‘For the white collar guys, this was the second time we’ve done it. They realise what’s in store. They were all well matched and the amateurs got good experience which will pay off.’
Burch boxed to a draw with Bruce Coulson on the first white collar show but did not glove up this time. ‘I enjoyed just being bucket man but may come back for one more fight.’
Randy Rankin is president of the boxing association. ‘Tonight was a great success,’ he said. ‘We saw a few things we could do better but all in all it was a great night. I can’t wait to get the Bahamas over here so we can do it again.’
Coach Anglin said: ‘I’m very tired but elated because it was such a great show. The excitement and so many people was fantastic. I can’t believe the support we got.
‘I was pleased with my son’s performance tonight. He boxed much better than in Bahamas. Dariel fought well too. Peter has a lot of heart.
‘It was good to see Mr Alden McLaughlin here. He made it all happen.’