Cuba training was a knockout as Olympic dreams grow

Cayman’s top amateur boxers made a triumphant return from a long training session abroad last week.  

The Cayman Islands national boxing team returned from Cuba and was met by the Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden, legislator Alva Suckoo and boxing association president Terence Spencer, as well as boxing association executives, family and friends. 

The boxers had been overseas since April to participate in a special training camp in Cuba. They fought exhibition matches with the Cuban national team and also entered the Cardin Cup and Bolado Cup invitational tournaments.  

Tafari Ebanks and Kendall Ebanks were able to reach the quarterfinals in both tournaments, but lost by close split decisions.  

Eric McField also fought well, but was unsuccessful suffering a pair of one-point losses in the opening rounds of both tournaments. 

Overall, the boxers stood toe to toe with the best boxers in the world as Cuba is ranked No. 1.  

Twenty-one countries participated during the events in Cuba. The Cayman Islands is ranked No. 19 in the Americas region in boxing.  

The boxing association is looking to improve its ranking to that of a top-five place outfit come the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.  

Osbourne expressed his gratitude during the boxers’s arrival for their dedication and commitment to representing the country. He said he was enthusiastic over the performance of the national team, especially Tafari Ebanks and Kendall Ebanks as their bouts were televised nationally in Cuba. 

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Boxing team, from left, Terence Spencer, Al Suckoo, Eric Mcfield, Tafari Ebanks, Norman Wilson, Kendall Ebanks, Leyla Jackson. – PHOTO: SUBMITTED
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