Bring on the Brits!

Montalvo, Coulson & Smith will be among those representing Cayman.

Some of Cayman’s top amateur boxers are putting in the time in the gym as they get set to take on international competition next month.

They will square off against fighters from Gumshield Gym in Southeast London during Elite Marble and Granite Fight Night 3 at Lions Centre on Saturday, 22 October. Set to step between the ropes to represent Cayman are Dariel Ebanks, Bruce Lee Coulson, Eduardo Montalvo, Alex Smith and teenage female boxer Chambria Dalhouse.

Ebanks will be back in the ring on 22 Oct.

Ebanks will be back in the ring on 22 Oct.

The boxing association is leaning on the connections of national team coach, Ryan Barrett, who took up the post earlier this year. The fighters are from Barrett’s former club and, added to that, they’re now being trained by his father, Steve Barrett.

“It’s going to be tough because the guys from London that I have trained the last five or six years, I’ve nurtured since [they were] babies up to the standard that they are already, so it’s going to be tough to be in the other corner to them. I’m new to the fighters here,” said the former pro pugilist.

However, several local fighters have raved about Barrett’s impact on them. Cayman’s fighters won three of the five bouts they were featured in against Canadian competition during the last international card in July. To top things off, Coulson returned home with a championship belt after an impressive showing at the Sugar Bert Title Belt National Qualifiers in the United States a few weeks ago.

“[I’m] feeling a lot of pressure because I came home with the belt. Everybody is looking for that next win. So, I have to train harder than everybody else, focus more and hopefully I don’t let down everybody else. My goal is to come back with a next win,” Coulson, a welterweight, told reporters at a press conference on Thursday, 15 September.

Coulson, Ebanks and Montalvo return to the Lions Centre ring after notching wins in July. For 16 year-old Chambria Dalhouse, it marks the first time she will be fighting competitively, after featuring on exhibition bouts during the two most recent fight cards.

Dalhouse, 16, is looking forward to international competition.

Dalhouse has only fought exhibition bouts.

“It’s very different because I’m not training with the person I’m going to be in the ring with. So, there’s the element of [the] unknown but I also feel that I’ll be a little more aggressive since I don’t know the person. I’ll have to give my all, especially because the person I’ll fight will have a lot more experience than me,” she said.

Cayman Islands Amateur Boxing Association Commercial Manager Mark Woollard said the timing fits into a schedule of getting the fighters ready for the Caribbean Boxing Championships being held in Barbados in December. The boxers are also being pushed for potential berths at the Commonwealth Games in two years. Dalhouse and Smith are also set to fly the Cayman flag at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Bahamas next year.

Are the bouts on the Elite Marble and Granite Fight Night 3 card just tune-ups to get ring experience for the fighters? Not in the eyes of the national coach, himself a former British champion and WBU word titlist. “I only insist that they win. That’s the only option. I don’t care where they’re from, what their competition level is, on my side of it, I insist that they win,” he said without the slightest hint of a smile.

Elite Marble and Granite Fight Night 3 is presented by Cayman Islands Amateur Boxing Association and Silverlight, with Elite Marble and Granite, Campbells, Grant Thornton, DMS, Appleton Estate Rum, Comfort Suites and the Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports as sponsors. will have a closer look at each of the fighters in the coming days.

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