Some of Cayman’s best boxers are in Barbados this week competing in the Ronald Wilson Memorial Tournament, a replacement for the Caribbean Championships.
It is for the English and Dutch speaking Caribbean nations. Thirteen countries are competing. Ronald Wilson was a Barbadian who was president for 18 years of the Caribbean Amateur Boxing Association.
Dariel Ebanks (light-heavy), Gino ‘Crusher’ Brown (super-heavy), Tafari Ebanks (bantam), Kendall Ebanks (lightweight) and Thomas McField-Brown (middleweight) are competing in Bridgetown. They flew out on Tuesday thanks to main sponsors Cayman Airways.
At the Owen Roberts International Airport, Dariel was greeted with some exciting news. Thomas Ebanks, President of the Cayman Islands Boxing Association, said: “Dariel has been invited by AIBA to participate in the Road to Goal London 2012 training in Cardiff, Wales from 18 February to 10 March.
“Then shortly after that the last Olympic qualifier takes place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. So hopefully, he will be able to go straight from the training camp to that along with hopefully some of his team-mates like Kendall Ebanks.
“We’re hoping that the training camp can be made available to other athletes once we showcase them, which is why we are attending all these regional meets. We want to get them seen by the movers and shakers in amateur boxing and hopefully we’ll reap such rewards as Dariel has received.
“I think our boxers can do well in Barbados and can medal because we’re up against opponents with an equal amount of fights. That makes a difference. It’s better than entering an open tournament where fighters have as much as 200 bouts. Trinidad and Tobago is the biggest in this tournament. When we compete against nations our size we get much better results.”
Dariel, 20, said: “Going to the training camp in Wales is great news. I feel real good about it and very happy. I’ll be light-heavy which is my comfortable weight. I’m rated in the top 30 in the world after winning my fight at the World Championships in September.
“I hope to bring back a gold for the Cayman Islands from Barbados. My record is 20-2. I work for US Link, a shipping company and they’ve been very good to me about time off for boxing. Hopefully, I’ll qualify for London and if it all goes good I’ll turn pro.”