Call him Champ!

Bruce Lee Coulson with his Sugar Bert title belt

Bruce Lee Coulson made good on his promise to return from the 2016 Sugar Bert Title Belt National Championships with a belt.

Coulson landed in Grand Cayman Thursday, 24 November, sporting a new championship belt after defeating Alabama’s Earvin Ruffin on Monday. It was his only fight of the tournament after being granted a bye to the final due to his impressive run at the qualifiers in August, where he dominated on his way to winning a belt.

“Everybody expected something out of me,” Coulson told journalists. “I said to everybody that I was going to focus for it. So, to go over there and do what I said this time, because the other fights I didn’t feel as though I wasn’t doing a hundred percent. This time I pushed myself 100 percent and more, and did what I had to do and came back to the island as a champ.”

In the process, the welterweight boxer remained undefeated in eight amateur fights.  “[I] got into the ring and had to think about dominating and not let him dominate me,” Coulson said.

Coulson with Donie Anglin

Boxer and trainer: Coulson with Donie Anglin

Not even the presence of former undisputed world heavyweight champion Evander ‘The Real Deal’ Holyfield at ringside distracted the 33 year-old from his mission. “As I got into the ring, everything blanked out. I couldn’t hear anything. I was focusing,” he said.

In his corner was veteran trainer Nayon ‘Donie’ Anglin, who was impressed with the boxer’ performance. “It was fairly simple because he stuck to his game plan,” Anglin said. “I told him don’t take any unnecessary chances because he’s a knockout person. He’s a power puncher.”

Anglin noted that Coulson hurt Ruffin early on his way to earning a unanimous points decision and that set the tone for the balance of the bout. “From the first round, he was leading the fight and I told him don’t take any unnecessary chances. So, he just went with the pace,” the trainer said.

Coulson was full of praise for Anglin and national boxing coach Ryan Barrett, the latter of whom was in his corner at the qualifiers. “I appreciate both of them. They stood beside me all the way.”

Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden was on hand at the Owen Roberts International Airport to welcome the fighter. “It’s huge,” he said. “Anytime a Caymanian athlete does something of this magnitude overseas, in this case – boxing, it puts the value for money in terms of what we spend.”

Government has committed nearly $150,000 to the national boxing programme for the 2016/17 financial year. “We support the boxing programme heavily and certainly we’re doing a lot of good things with boxing,” the Sports Minister said, noting that a new gym in Bodden Town is being built at an opportune time.

“Coach [Barrett] promised me a champ but I didn’t think he meant this quick,” Mr Bodden said.

Lemme see: Minister Bodden takes a look at Coulson's prize.

Lemme see: Minister Bodden takes a look at Coulson’s prize.

Mark Woollard, the commercial manager for the Cayman Islands Amateur Boxing Association, was also visibly upbeat by Coulson’s new title and the impact it can have on the programme.

“It’s absolutely fantastic. The other boxers in the gym, especially the younger guys, will see Bruce turn up next week with the belt. When he came back with the qualification belt, it was a big stir in the gym and the championship belt and the press coverage that will go for it is just great for Cayman boxing. It’s great for the youngsters coming through and it shows our young boxers what they can achieve with dedication and hard work,” Woollard told

Coulson is expected to be among the Caymanian fighters competing at the Caribbean Boxing Championships in early December. An official announcement of that team is expected in the coming days but Coulson and light heavyweight Dariel Ebanks are almost locks make the trip to Barbados.

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