Combat mix was nicely blended

White collar boxing combined with
the regular amateur version as well as three grappling bouts for some
entertaining and explosive combat bouts at Margaritaville last week.

It was promoted by Proving Ground’s
Chris Dinan and judging by the enthusiasm at the packed venue, there is scope
for plenty more shows like this next year. White collar bouts are generally between
inexperienced office workers – hence the name – and what they lack in technical
ability is more than made up for in blood, sweat and tears.

The judges were Tim Coulson, Jon
McLean, Troy O’Neil and Dariel Ebanks. Charles ‘The Killa’ Whittaker and his
trainer Norman Wilson, helped out in the corners.

Fight doctor at ringside was Angella
Glidden and the event’s main sponsors were Coors Light, Jacques Scott,
Margaritaville, Xtreme Sports and One 345. Lachie Hewitt from Xtreme Sports
co-promoted this event.

Shane Gallery of UBS faced Maples
lawyer Bruce Blake first. They were both on the floor in the first round as
grappling seemed to take over the boxing part. Blake complained throughout and
referee Donie Anglin was kept busy. Despite Gallery clearly throwing the most
effective shots, Blake’s spoiling tactics were judged more effective and he won
on a unanimous points verdict after three rounds.

Blake pushed himself to the limits
over that weekend because he ran the Cayman Marathon only a few hours later in
just over five hours. He probably had his best night’s sleep in years after
that.

Flloyd Moxam got a tap out victory
against Rolfo Whittaker in a grappling bout to move on to the evening’s final.

Amateur boxers Aaron Powell and
Ansel Lawrence punched it out next with the more experienced Powell, using his
longer reach and better footwork, to decisively win on points.

White collar met regular boxer next
as Jan Golaszewski stormed out trying to flatten Matthew ‘Ali’ Allen in a
heavyweight contest. Golaszewski tried to use his superior strength and
swarming punches against the teenage boxer but got picked off by Ali’s crisper
punches. Allen got the decision.

In a grappling bout Richard Ebanks
quickly tapped out Jeffrey Jackson to get to the final.

After the break referee Anglin, who
is also the head boxing coach, officiated the bout between Eric McField and
Peter ‘Lightning’ Lewison. This wasn’t just a straight contest, it was a
decider to see who will go to the Pan American qualifiers in the spring.
McField got the decision in a close fight.

In the grappling final Moxam won on
decision against Ebanks.

Tracey Seymour is Cayman’s foremost
female boxer. She has been training for months but was unable to get a contest.
She even went to a show in Tampa last month but could not get matched. Brave
teenager Javaka Kellier stepped forward and offered her a fight. He took his
lumps with good grace as Seymour won easily but at least the 15-year-old got
some invaluable experience.

In the show closer Eamon Wilson had
massive crowd support against Chris Capewell who also had a fair number of followers.
All three rounds were intense and close so it was no surprise when Furious
announced that it was a split decision. Wilson got the nod but Capewell had
every right to feel he deserved it too.

Dinan said; “The show went very
well from a promotional and execution stand point. This event may not have been
possible without the assistance and sponsorship from Jacques Scott,
Margaritaville and the participation of our local boxers and members of the
boxing gym.

“We definitely have to thank The
Cayman Islands Boxing Association and in particular the president Thomas Ebanks
for all their efforts and we were very pleased to have had the opportunity to
work with them. I certainly look forward to working with the same team again on
future events.

“Special thanks are due to Furious
and Dr. Glidden. They have been with Proving Ground since its inception in
2005. Many people may not be aware but Proving Ground has been in Cayman for
some time. Our first event saw UFC fighter Ryan Bader face off in the octagon
at the Royal Watler terminal in May 2005.

“We have also had a number or
special guests, such as Mark Kerr, Jamie Varner and many others. More recently,
on this show it was Jordan Radev as guest referee for the grappling portion.

“Feedback has been very positive and
I have to thank everyone for coming out to support another Proving Ground
event. As always we work to make the fights as exciting, but also as safe as
possible.

“Without the genuine support of
public these events would not be possible. Thank you to everyone who made the
effort and came to support our local athletes.”

There was an obvious highlight for
Dinan. He said: “Our main event and last fight for the evening was in my mind,
the nail bitter for the night and certainly left the event ending on a high
note. All of the competitors trained very hard and I’m certain you will see a
number of them return to the ring.

“Fight fans around
the Island can look forward to seeing Proving Ground again in April. You can be
sure the main event will surprise everyone in Cayman. Our team will continue
working to make each Proving Ground event better than the last. We sincerely
appreciate all the support of both the competitors and fans. Special thanks to
all our sponsors.”

SPORTSstory

Gallery was in a great scrap with Blake.
Photo: Ron Shillingford
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