The relaunched boxing programme here is only a year old but such is its success that it is already the envy of the Caribbean.
Not many boxing programmes can boast a renowned former professional trainer who has worked with numerous world champions, including Lennox Lewis, as Cayman has in Norman ‘Stormin’ Wilson, a world class fighter as in Charles ‘The Killa’ Whittaker, head coach who has boxed all over the Caribbean in Donie Anglin and support coach in Troy O’Neil who has been a Caribbean amateur light-heavyweight champion.
The boxing association has a vibrant committee too to ensure all the boxers’ needs are attended to. It is headed by president Thomas Ebanks with ample support from Shernette Watson, Ann-Marie Byrd, Toni Greene, Terence Spencer, Timothy Ebanks and Garth Ebanks.
The boxers got another chance to showcase their skills on Saturday at the D. Dalmain Ebanks gym in the third show of the year. Not bad considering most countries in the Caribbean only have a couple of shows a year. This time Jamaica sent over some of their finest from the Bruising Gym stable in Stony Hill, Kingston.
Before the Jamaicans could appear, the locals had a series of bouts between them. At light-fly Ezra Redden took on Jordan McLean. For two novice kids, barely weighing more than a bag of rice each, they really fought their hearts out. What a scrap. Both got standing counts but stormed back. McLean got the verdict but Redden should still consider himself a winner.
Two giant 15-year-olds went at it next with debutant heavyweight Frank Morales outpointing the popular Collin ‘Bubbalicious’ Barrett.
There was another entertaining match, again at light-fly, when Alex Hurlston stepped in with Nathanyell Francis. They too fought hard but fairly and at the end were still going at it and had to be pulled apart. Hurlston got the verdict.
At welter, the hard hitting Thomas McField was just too strong for newcomer Rashane Rankine who was mercifully pulled out by referee Phillmore Barrnett in the third having taken counts in the previous two rounds.
At heavyweight Matthew ‘Ali’ Allen picked his punches well as usual, but the taller, longer reach of Andrew Grant scored better and he got the decision.
An exhibition bout followed between Charles Whittaker and Daniel ‘The Bear’ Christian, the popular gym youngster who trains with his mum Liza who introduced him to boxing to help with his mobility which had been poor since his childhood because of an adverse reaction to medication.
In the months he has been training there Christian’s mobility has improved significantly. His confidence, physique and self-esteem has been boosted considerably too.
Killa played the part of menacing opponent and for three rounds he moved around with Christian and took the inevitable ‘knock out’ in the third with referee Michael ‘Bobby’ Peart counting him out. All good fun and Daniel can now boast that on his debut he knocked out a world class pro!
More boxing on pages 8-9.