Cayman’s Brandy Barnes meets her match in India

Cayman boxer Brandy Barnes, right, with coach Stuart O’Connor at the Lions’ Den boxing gym in Sheffield, UK.

Cayman’s Brandy Barnes attended the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Delhi, India, this month as part of her development plan toward qualification for the 2020 Olympics.

Barnes attended the Championships following a three-week training camp in the U.K. where she had the privilege of sparring and networking with some of the U.K.’s top-ranked Light Featherweight females, including at the prestigious Lions’ Den gym in Sheffield, known as the home of British boxing.

Barnes drew South Korea’s Chorong Bak in the preliminaries and fought on Nov. 16, which resulted in a loss by a stoppage in the second round.

Head Coach Stuart O’Connor reflected that “there were girls in the competition who Brandy would have beaten, proving that she has the potential to do well in this sport. Bak is an Asian Games medalist who has reached the quarterfinals in the last two World Championships. Brandy tried to go at her and show what she can do, but unfortunately the Korean was too experienced for her to handle.”

A Cayman Islands Boxing Association statement added, “It is much easier for boxers from larger countries to amass varied sparring and large numbers of national bouts than for those in the Caribbean. Brandy, comparatively, has a small number of amateur bouts and has only been competing for just over a year.

She has demonstrated significant growth from her Commonwealth Games debut earlier this year, she works hard to push herself and has a great attitude.”

The Women’s World Championships also offered the opportunity for Barnes to gain valuable, additional sparring experience against countries like Australia and Bangladesh.

Barnes, demonstrating her positive attitude and discipline, said, “Even though there is still a lot to do and work on, I have and continue to improve since the Commonwealth Games. That is what matters.”

Barnes returned from India this weekend, but has little time to rest as she will close her 2018 competition year in Guyana at the Caribbean Championships from Dec. 6-9. She will compete against the best in the region to try and retain the gold medal title she earned last year.