Round one offered up Cabana knockout for many fight fans

A local boxing fundraiser clobbered expectations.

The Cayman Islands Boxing Association hosted Round One: Boxing Party at Cayman Cabana last Friday and raised more than $2,000 for two national team amateur boxers – Kendall and Tafari Ebanks – to participate in the American Boxing Confederation Elite Continental Boxing Championships in Chile.

Event organiser and boxing association general secretary Leyla Jackson was delighted with the outcome of the event and said it is likely to become a regular feature on the local boxing calendar.

“The association really wants to thank the public for coming out to support this event,” Jackson said. “I am absolutely delighted to report that this event raised $2,500 dollars towards sending our delegation to the Chile competition, which is extremely important for their development towards the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

“More importantly, we managed to raise awareness of Cayman boxing, the work of the association and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. It was great to see them cheering for all of the local talent. There was something for everyone on the night, the boxing bouts and dancing in a great setting for those not particularly keen on boxing.

“I am so very proud that we managed to turn this event around in such a short timescale and that is really due to the hard work of everyone involved including the friends and board members of the association, coaches, all of the boxers who took part, Luigi Moxam and all of the staff at Cayman Cabana, poster designer Billie Bryan, Bob Rees of Paramount Media and Dane Ramoon of Star 92.7, without whom, this event certainly would not have been possible.”

The highlight of the evening was live boxing with five bouts featuring local talent like Aaron Powell, Chad Scott, Bruce “Lee” Colson, Ryan Charles, Flloyd Moxam and one of Cayman’s youngest amateurs, 15-year-old Hopkin Ebanks.

None of the fighters wore headgear since International Amateur Boxing Association rule changes on competition fighting have now removed the use of headgear in most instances, making the bouts more interesting. Thomas McField and Shaune Rankine had an exciting bout, with Shaune staggering into the ropes after a particularly ferocious blow by McField.

The fight of the evening was between the two top amateurs, Kendall and Tafari Ebanks. The crowd, especially the West Bay contingent, were particularly loud in their support for Tafari, a West Bay native.

The crowd was energised and enjoyed all of the talent on the night. Some audience members even participated by putting on gloves and doing some pad work to win T-shirts. Keeping the party going was DJ Special Opz of Star 92.7 and MC Nikolai Hill.

From here, the Ebanks boys will prepare to fight in Santiago de Chile from 27 August to 3 September. 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 earlier this year.

Kendall, Tafari and the coaching staff leave next week for Florida to prepare their training regime and fly to Chile for the competition at the end of the month. They will then return to Cayman early in September to face some of the best amateurs in the world, on Cayman soil, when the Cuban national team comes to fight on Saturday, 14 September.

The association is also selling exclusive limited edition T-shirts designed by Luigi Moxam of One (345) Collection. These T-shirts are available for $20 and profits made go to fund the association’s activities.