Kendall Ebanks is ready to go where no local boxer has gone before.
According to the Cayman Islands Boxing Association, the West Bayer is the first Caymanian to be invited to the training camp and accompanying world championships put on by the AIBA (International Amateur Boxing Association). The world’s largest amateur boxing programme is putting on the events in Baku, Azerbaijan next month.
First up for Ebanks, 20, is the camp 9-21 September. His bouts will take place 22 September-10 October. The light welterweight states he is proud to make history and have an opportunity to excel abroad.
“I’m extremely happy I’m getting to go,” Ebanks said. “In 2007 I was just watching everything on TV. I’ve pushed myself to the point where now I can go and be proud of this moment. I trained hard so that I can get a gold medal there and I’m looking forward to this.”
Ebanks’ invitation to the world championships is the biggest move in a short career. He started boxing back in 2007 and has been part of the national youth team. Recently a squad took part at the Pan American Games trials in Ecuador and Panama where Ebanks, who turns 21 in November, would earn an invitation from the AIBA.
However the Pan Am Games was not the last time Ebanks was in the ring. Earlier this month he was part of the Cayman contingent that competed in the 11th annual Ringside World Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. Ebanks would lose his first fight along with brothers Raymond and Diego Rodriguez. The other team members, Tafari Ebanks and Aaron Powell, would advance to the quarter-finals.
Ebanks, who trains under renown boxing coach Norman Wilson, states he is over his showing in Missouri.
“The scouts at the AIBA saw me at the Pan Am Games in Panama over a month ago and picked me to train and fight with them. As for Kansas City I felt the fight went my way. Fighting in another person’s hometown is tough. It went to a decision and the judges ruled against me. There is nothing I can do about that. All I can do is move on to the world championships and make sure I win and avoid going to a decision.”