After serving two-plus years as Cayman’s national boxing coach, Floyd Trumpet’s employment with the Cayman Islands Boxing Association has come to an early end, six months before the completion of his three-year contract.

Trumpet’s last day as coach was Thursday, 22 April; CIBA confirmed to the Compass that a replacement has not yet been found.

“It was decided not to renew Coach Trumpet’s permit at this time,” CIBA told the Compass via email.

“As with any corporate entity, CIBA must make appropriate decisions in the entity’s best interests, taking into account many different business factors.”

Several Trumpet-trained boxers voiced their disapproval with CIBA’s decision to release the Trinidad native.

“Personally, I feel as though it was a bit unnecessary and also inconsiderate of them to do that,” Caymanian amateur boxer Chris Hurlston told the Compass.

“All of us boxers do a lot here, we train countless hours per week, not to mention how long we have been here. They didn’t discuss anything with us about the situation before they did what they did, and I feel like they didn’t consider how we feel… we don’t ask for much, all we ask for is to have our coach.”

While Hurlston was unhappy with the turn of events, CIBA said that the decision was not solely made by their board members and that boxers training at the D. Dalmain Boxing Gymnasium also had their say.

“CIBA maintains appropriate corporate governance including multiple avenues for amateur boxers to provide their input and have a voice. These include having an athlete representative elected to the Board of Directors and encouraging boxers to become voting members of CIBA. After consultation with multiple amateur boxing stakeholders, which included athlete and staff representation, CIBA has decided to pursue a new strategic direction,” the association said.

From left, Christopher Hurlston, Jaden Eccleston and Lyndon Waite. Photos: Seaford Russell Jr

Trumpet’s most notable achievement as head coach came at the December 2019 Caribbean Championships in Trinidad and Tobago, where boxers Jaden Eccleston, Jon-Mikol Rankin, and Theodore Kelly Jr. all medalled in their first regional competition.

But the coronavirus pandemic hit the following year, affecting boxing in Cayman as well as most sports worldwide, with both local and international events cancelled. As a result, Cayman boxers were left without competition for over a year.

However, last month, boxers were able to compete at CIBA’s ‘Fight Night, The Return’ with Trumpet-trained Lyndon Waite losing in a split decision to Kelroy Jaindoo in the main event. Waite credited Trumpet for his success to date in boxing, and noted the difficulty in changing coaches.

“When I came in here, I didn’t even know how to throw a punch properly and coach took me and basically worked with me, and that was it,” he told the Compass. “It’s a lot to take in and there’s a lot of topics I want to bring up but it’s just a lot.”

He added, “To get a new coach it’s like starting over and nothing is wrong with that, but at the end of the day we’re trying to go forward not take 10 steps back. Obviously, this is stuff that we have no control over but at the same time they should take into consideration that it’s not going to be an easy transition.”

As for the rest of the year, CIBA said its “plans over the latter part of 2021 include an exciting project in the works to bring boxing to Cayman Brac, as well as increased collaboration with youth organizations such as ‘ARK’ ”.

The association thanked Trumpet “for his work with Cayman’s boxers”.

In a statement issued to the Compass about his release, Trumpet said, “I’m thankful for the opportunity given to me by CIBA. It was a pleasure teaching the boxers not only how to box, but how to carry themselves as professionals in training, in competition and in life. I wish CIBA all the best in their boxing development in the future.”

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