Amateur boxing in the Cayman Islands is in good shape judging by Saturday night’s show, which showcased the talent of many local fighters – and the next one is already lined up for next year.
The Elite Marble & Granite Saturday Night Fight at the Lions Centre presented six amateur bouts and a celebrity one between politician Al Suckoo and policeman Michael “Bobby” Peart.
The Elite Marble & Granite Saturday Fight Night II is already coming together, slated for Feb. 19.
A team from South London, England is preparing to fight Cayman’s best.
The Londoners have a lot of boxers, so matching up with them will prove a lot easier, but the cost base for the event will increase with the flight costs.
Organizers of the show are appealing to corporate sponsors to get involved.
“Thanks to our sponsors and the support of the Cayman Islands government, Saturday Fight Night II will be even bigger,” said Mark Woollard of organizers Silverlight.
Every bout on Saturday was well matched and entertaining, and Suckoo was the winner of another superb fight.
It was all put together by Ann-Marie Byrd and Leyla Jackson of the Cayman Islands Boxing Association, as well as Woollard.
Boxing coaches Nayon “Donie” Anglin, Norman Wilson and Rogerio Pitta prepared the boxers and were busy on the night helping the show run smoothly. Judges were Troy Oneil, Kelly Pope and Angel Almanza.
Tafari Ebanks, the boxer who had just returned from the world championships, worked in the corner of the fighters, as did Kendall “Flash” Ebanks.
Woollard said, “There was a strong turnout for the event, especially by Cayman’s corporate community, and many who came down from West Bay.
Cayman loves its boxing, and this event had been a long time coming.
“Events like this give us an opportunity to showcase our young boxing talent and at the same time raise much needed funds.”
Woollard said the event turned a decent profit. “Young up-and-coming boxers really need to get off island to gain experience, to grow their skill set, so money raised will help us achieve that.”
Hopkin Ebanks topped the bill as Premier Alden McLaughlin looked on. Welterweight Ebanks outpointed Trinidadian Reynold Belcon in a thrilling fight.
“With Tafari only just returning from the world championships, it gave Hopkin the opportunity to top the bill, and boy did he,” said Woollard. “We knew his opponent was a good fighter, but Hopkin showed his class and big things are expected of this young man in the future.”
Woollard was pleased that the Premier attended. ”He loves his boxing and it’s great to see him at our events, very much in support of Cayman’s youth and our boxing program.”
The show included a match between two young girls, Chamveria Dalhouse and Hepseba Angel, and other talented Cayman novices including Rashawn Powery, Brandon Cunha, Blaze Bodden, Patrick Hughes and Andre Hind.