The crowd came from all over the Cayman Islands to witness some exciting combat action – and they were certainly not disappointed.
The second Rogue Gym ‘smoker’ at their premises behind XQ’s on the West Bay Road, lived up to expectations with three exhibition bouts and two thunderous matches that provided onlookers with much more value than their $25 fight, food and drink tickets warranted.
Sponsored by XQ’s and CayBrew, the pizza and beer went down superbly with the kickboxing entree. Promoted by Chris Dinan and Rogue co-owner David Reid, the gym deserves more support to ensure it stays open forever and moves to a larger, better equipped premises.
With Muay Thai instructor Grey Brett in their corner, the Rogue fighters were extremely fit and fully prepared to battle with instructor Bob Daigle’s team from the recently formed Cayman Islands Kickboxing Academy. Daigle’s team train at the D. Dalmain Ebanks boxing gym.
Having attended Muay Thai seminars from champion exponents Poo Choi Kru Bruce Ong and Kru Mikey Perez from Toronto only two weeks earlier, the Rogue disciples felt they had the edge.
Kenny Dryburgh was matched to face Daigle’s Darwin Lanza at 145lbs. Although Dryburgh made the weight – just – Lanza was only 135lbs and Daigle decided the disparity a day after the weigh in would be too much and wisely pulled the disappointed Lanza out.
At fight time, Lanza weighed the same but Dryburgh was at least 10lbs heavier than when he weighed in.
Dryburgh opened the show with a boxing exhibition against Rob Mahadeo who had started the day expecting to relax with wife and baby daughter. Despite being a late sub, Mahadeo, who is a ‘veteran’ of two previous boxing bouts, exchanged frequently with his gym-mate, almost giving it the feel of a real bout.
Nicely warmed up, the crowd was then treated to an exhibition kickboxing bout between instructor Flloyd Moxam and grappling specialist JeffRey Jackson. They whacked each other with kicks and punches but it was all good natured, thankfully, because Jackson outweighed Moxam by at least 70lbs.
Ryan Charles and Garry Tierny were next with a kickboxing exhibition. Two well-schooled fighters in peak condition, they provided enough action to whet the appetite of anyone wishing to see them in a real contest in the future.
Alex Daigle, Bob’s son, stepped up to face Juneau Barnett. Both exceptionally tall for 160lbs fighters, kicks were the likeliest most potent weapons. That’s how it proved as Daigle swarmed all over Barnett from the start, reigning in shots from all angles.
Barnett covered up well and responded when he could but it was all Daigle for the first minute before he paused to take stock. Towards the end of the round though, Daigle was already puffing heavily and looked ‘gassed’.
Dad Bob and Troy O’Neil gave Alex instructions in his corner but he could not turn the tide.
Alex evidently went off too fast and his lack of conditioning meant he lost the second and showed tremendous heart to still be in the bout at the end of the third contest although clearly exhausted. Barely able to hold his hands up, Daigle collapsed from fatigue but was quickly up to hear the inevitable judgment that Barnett won on a 2-1 majority decision.
Alex’s older brother Bobby Daigle came in for the final bout, against Rogue’s Dave O’Driscoll. Intent on redeeming family honour, Bobby started fast too, smashing punches and kicks all over O’Driscoll to win the first round clearly.
But history would repeat itself. Bobby was distressed by a punch to the throat in the second round and referee Andrew Ford gave him some time out.
But Bobby’s conditioning was lacking too and the shorter, stockier O’Driscoll started smashing shots in all over his lanky frame and midway through the round Bobby fell dramatically in his own corner, unable to continue.
It was a fitting finale to an entertaining bill and should be repeated in the near future. Rogue is fast establishing itself as a combat sports mecca.
For more information on the Rogue Gym, contact Grey Brett on 916-2271 or [email protected]
With Muay Thai instructor Grey Brett in their corner, the Rogue fighters were extremely fit and fully prepared to battle with instructor Bob Daigle’s team from the recently formed Cayman Islands Kickboxing Academy.