Boxers take three gold at championships

| 21/12/2017
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Neandra Forbes Morgan (silver medallist), Brandy Barnes (gold) and Chambria Dalhouse (gold)

(CNS Local Life): Cayman’s amateur boxers took home three gold medals from the 2017 Caribbean Development Championships held in St Lucia. In addition to the top prize, the remaining nine pugilists won four silver and five bronze medals. Earning gold at the tournament, which ran from 13-16 December, were Alexander Smith, Brandy Barnes and Chambria Dalhouse.

Smith fought Jeremiah Toussaint of Antigua and Barbuda in the first round. In the finals held the next day (Friday, 16 December), he took on home-crowd favourite Travis Stanislaus, dropping the St Lucian to the canvas one minute into the first round and ending the bout by his first-ever knockout. Coach Ryan Barrett said, in a press release, that the change in Smith since he attended the Caribbean Championships last December and lost in the first round has been “tremendous”. The Cayman Islands Boxing Association said it attributed this to Smith’s “excellent attitude, fitness and development at his London training camp”.

Barnes, another gold medallist fresh out of the London camp, is the daughter of coach and former Cayman team boxer Ernest Barnes. She fought Iprecious Lythcott of Barbados on Friday night to win gold after outclassing the Bajan over three rounds, demonstrating better conditioning and technique, said the release.

Dalhouse won her gold by taking down Angelique Quevado of Trinidad and Tobago in a bout stopped by the referree part way through the second round. Also a product of the London training camp, Dalhouse dominated from the start to bring home the gold for Cayman.

The third female boxer, Neandra Forbes Morgan, at just 14 years old, came extremely close to another gold medal, losing on a 3:2 split decision to Dariel Thomas of Grenada. This was Forbes Morgan’s first-ever proper matched bout and she demonstrated her talent and timing throughout, using combinations and her jab extremely effectively, stated the press release.

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Cayman’s boxing contingent

Also making their international competition debut were teens Keanu McField Jackson, Aaron Miller and Deandre Rowe, who performed well against their more-experienced opponents (Rashad Holder of Barbados, Xavier Maclier of Cayenne (French Guiana) and Waldropt Blessing of Trinidad and Tobago, respectively) to earn themselves silver medals.

For these boxers, seeing the level of international competition and understanding the discipline required to weigh in every day has been an eye-opening experience, said the press release, with expectations that they will be able to bring home gold medals if they stay disciplined like Smith over the next 12 months. They all demonstrated the “heart, spirit and discipline to succeed as boxers”, stated the release.

The only disappointment of the tournament was Dariel Ebanks missing out on gold. He was easily the best and most experienced boxer in his weight category and should have had an easy ride to a gold medal. However his performance just was not there on Thursday night when he did not effectively demonstrate his skills to the judges, instead just throwing his left hand throughout the bout and allowing his St Lucian opponent Keegan Morley to frustrate him with clinches.

Winning bronze at the competition were Thase Watler, Diego Rodriguez, Romario Campbell, Ebanks and Eduardo Montalvo.

National coach Rogerio Pitta, who has been undertaking his AIBA referee and judging qualification, officiated during the tournament.


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Category: Boxing, Sports

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