Cayman’s brightest boxing prodigy is continuing his quest to stardom.
Bantamweight Tafari Ebanks, 20, is currently training for a number of small fights in the run up to his next big stage, the Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico this November. After barely missing out on a medal at the XX Commonwealth Games in Scotland this summer, Ebanks says he is motivated to be better.
“Hopefully, we’re going to a next tournament in Atlanta,” Ebanks said. “That’s going to be at the end of August so I’m right back into training and preparing for that as well. Right now, I just need to push myself to the limit and work with the more advanced people in the sport of boxing.”
Ebanks gave a memorable showing in Glasgow, reaching the quarterfinals of the bantamweight (56 kilograms) division before losing by unanimous decision to Kenyan Benson Njangiru, with each of the three judges scoring 29-28 in favor of the African. Had he won, Ebanks would have got at least a bronze in the semis. The West Bayer started slowly, as Njangiru, 29, won the first two rounds, before winning the final three-minute round. Ebanks got a first round bye in the competition before beating Henry Umings, 20, of Papua New Guinea by technical knockout 33 seconds into the second round.
Ebanks said he was pleased overall with his Scotland performance.
“It went extremely well, the people were nice and wonderful. The atmosphere over there was really nice. The boxers were really nice, they would talk to you. In the ring, we weren’t so nice but it was good I enjoyed it over there.”
Cayman’s national boxing coach, Norman Wilson, was in Ebanks’s corner over in Scotland. While Mexico represents the next major international stage for the young man, Wilson says the goal now is simply to add more fights to the resume.
“We got several things to go to, he qualified for the CAC Games in Mexico,” Wilson said. “Even though that’s in November, we got a lot of other stuff we want to do. We want to go to Cuba and get a fight or two in there. These guys have 100 fights, 200 fights, we only have 20-something fights. But we can fight.”