Cabana party to boost Ebanks duo

A pair of local boxers are gaining fresh support in their bid to fight in Chile.

The Cayman Islands Boxing Association is staging a fundraiser at Cayman Cabana, titled Round One boxing party, on Friday, 2 August, from 10pm. The event will benefit Tafari and Kendall Ebanks, local fighters who will be battling in Santiago de Chile in Chile for the American Boxing Confederation Elite Continental Boxing Championships.

Boxing association secretary general Leyla Jackson said more international fights are needed for local boxers.

“My role for this party is that of the organiser as we needed to raise money in a short space of time,” Jackson said. “The idea is worthwhile because the association has been really pushing and growing over the last year to grow our youth programme.

“We want to reach out and recognise more talent and drive the youth, as well as do more to send our national team abroad to participate in as much training and international competitions as possible.

“This is the only way that they will have a good chance of achieving our goal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.”

The Chile competition runs from 27 August to 3 September. According to trainer Norman Wilson, Tafari and Kendall are the only fighters from the Caribbean and the only English-speaking fighters invited to the championships. The invitation came about through their training in Cuba for a few months earlier this year.

Jackson, who admits the association needs $5,000 to make the trip possible, said the Cuba sparring opened many doors.

“We recently sent a delegation from our national team to Cuba for six weeks of intensive training. This camp was brutal but absolutely vital for improving the teams skill and endurance.

“It is only because the talent of our national team was recognised at the camp that Kendall and Tafari have been invited to participate in the Chile tournament, as this competition is not ordinarily open to non-Spanish speaking countries. Therefore, it is a great honour and opportunity.

“I think it is vital that Kendall and Tafari go to Chile because they will get the opportunity to compete with the best in the world. Coming from a small island, this is vital to prepare them for the Commonwealth games and the Olympics.

“The coach of the best boxing team in the world, Cuba, has told us that Tafari has the potential to win a medal at the Olympics, so it is the association’s role to do everything possible to prepare our team for that happening.”

Friday’s event sees tickets at $10 presold and $15 at the door. There will be prize giveaways, a guest DJ and live boxing.

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