Athletes as young as 12 took part in the Cayman Islands Boxing Association’s first family fun day on Saturday, Sept. 16. Nine bouts demonstrated the skills of the newly constituted national team, for most of whom this was their first public boxing performance.

First up were young boxers Mark Forbes Cruz and Junior Williams. This bout provided valuable experience for them as both are in their early teens, and this was their first bout, a press release states. The decision was split with the ultimate win going to Junior Williams.

Next up was Nathaan Hales against Alex Hurlston, who has a little prior amateur experience. Alex was ultimately defeated by Nathaan, who impressed the judges and made him one to watch for the future, the press release states.

Youngsters Jathaan Barnes and Nathan McLaughlin were in the ring next. This was the first bout for both, and they demonstrated their enthusiasm and energy over the first two rounds before the referee stopped the contest in the third, with Barnes taking the win.

Fourth up was possibly the most entertaining bout of the day, the press release states, and a close contest between another two talented newcomers, Sabien Barnes and Keanu McField Jackson. However, a training injury for Sabien meant that the it was stopped in the third round to avoid any further discomfort. Sports physician Dr. Jody Timpson of Novoclinic Cayman was on hand to assess the injury and give advice to Sabien, who will need to ensure that he is not exacerbating the injury over the next few months.

Newcomers Deandre Rowe and Michael Pearson went three rounds, resulting in a unanimous decision to Deandre. Then the floor went to the youngest boxers of the day, 12-year-old Aldene Forbes-Morgan fought Liam Chisholm. The pair performed admirably and it was a close decision. Liam just topped Aldene in the split decision.

Alex Smith then fought against relative newcomer Romario Campbell. Campbell is a Caymanian boxer based in Birmingham, U.K. Unfortunately, a pre-existing shoulder injury for Campbell cut this bout short, resulting in a win for experienced youth team boxer Alex.

Liam Chisholm, in red trunks, and Aldene Forbes-Morgan pose with referee Troy O’Neil.

The final bout of the day was between Elite boxer Hopkin Ebanks and national team athlete Eduardo Montalvo. This was an entertaining bout between the usually quite well matched pair. However, Eduardo’s fitness was not at optimal levels and this, combined with Hopkin’s experience allowed him an easy win when Eduardo could not go the distance against him, the press release states.

“Overall, the boxers had an excellent day and [it] was a valuable learning curve for both the boxers and the Association, who were using the event as part of the qualifying criteria for the selection of the team for the 2017 Caribbean Championships,” organizers said in the press release. “It afforded an opportunity for nationally certified boxing officials to gain further practice as well. CIBA hopes to build upon the success of this format by holding this event on a regular three monthly basis.”

In addition to the matches, the crowd was entertained by music by DJ Special Opz. The boxing association thanked all of the event sponsors and raffle gift donors.

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