New gym is a real knockout

As the London Olympics draws
nearer, it’s not just Cayman’s athletes and swimmers who have the 2012 Gamesin
their sights. There are at least three Cayman boxers who want to go for gold,
too.

Dariel Ebanks, Kendal Ebanks and
Jason Parchment intend to punch their way to glory at the next Olympics and are
totally focused on reaching that goal. Eric McField and Peter ‘Lightning’
Lewison, too, would love a berth at the Games, but it’s the other three who are
most likely, especially Dariel, a southpaw light-heavy, who has only lost once
in his seven bouts.

Since the wonderful D Dalmain
Ebanks Boxing Gymnasium at the Truman Bodden Complex in George Town opened last
year, the noble art has given plenty of youngsters another sporting option on
their already extensive list. It is packed every day after school with little
sluggers – girls as well as boys – learning the basics, and then youths and
adults banging away at the bags and sparring from around 5pm until it closes at
8pm. It costs $25 a month for unlimited use, which is excellent value
considering the quality of the facilities and coaching expertise.

Troy O’Neil, Cayman’s most
experienced amateur boxer, is a regular there, too. O’Neil was involved in the
fight of the night against a tough Jamaican fighter at the last show last month
in a glorious night for Cayman as they beat the visitors from Kingston 4-1.
Minister of Sport Mark Scotland gave out trophies, as did former sports ministers
Alden McLaughlin and Frank McField.

Boxing coach Nayon ‘Donie’ Anglin
often opens up in the mornings for the likes of world class fighter Charles
‘The Killa’ Whittaker and mixed martial arts fighters, so his day is always
long and draining. Thankfully, since February Anglin has had Killa’s trainer
Stormin’ Norman Wilson as a back-up coach, but he is only a short-term contract
despite the obvious boost he has given to the boxing programme. Wilson has
worked with numerous world champions, including former world heavyweight
champion Lennox Lewis.

“It’s great to have Norman there to
help,” says Anglin. “I actually think we could do with more coaching because at
times the gym is so full. We ran a summer programme for the kids and they
enjoyed it so much that they said they’re going to continue when they return to
school.

“The programme is building up
nicely. We have a team from Bahamas coming here to fight our boys at the end of
September and once we really get the boxing association behind us, we want to
step up our Olympic prospects to higher-level competition like the world
championships and Pan Am Games. We want to get top US fighters over here too
and invite other Caribbean islands to come.”

Membership in the boxing club is
$10, and Anglin would like to see the general public becoming members so that
they can give support. The club has its annual general meeting to elect new
officials on Friday, 27 August at the gym at 5.30pm, and Anglin would like to
see new members joining so they can have an input.

For more information, ring Donie Anglin on 939-7944 or Norman Wilson
927-7056.

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