Cayman splits boxing card with Trinidad and Tobago

Cayman's Brandy Barnes (blue) faced off with Faith Ramnath of Trinidad and Tobago in the co-main event.

Competitive action returned to the Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gym on 29 June 2019 at the Elite Marble and Granite Fight Night 5 with a card featuring some of the Cayman Islands top amateur boxers stepping into the ring against opponents from Trinidad and Tobago.

A pair of the more popular names on the card, and who have had their hands lifted as Caribbean champions in recent years, found themselves on the wrong end of the judges’ decision, as the hosts split the card with their visitors from the southern Caribbean.

In the co-main event, women’s light flyweight Brandy Barnes suffered her fifth career loss in a split decision to Faith Ramnath, who proved she was up for the challenge. Another split decision in the other co-main event saw Alexander Smith drop to his record to 8-5 in a competitive affair with Mike Innis in a men’s bantamweight bout.

Eduardo Montalvo (blue) won by unanimous decision.

Earlier, the always exciting Eduardo Montalvo showed his craft in the ring against reigning Caribbean champion Blessings Waldropt in a welterweight showdown. Despite facing an accomplished boxer, who was in his 36th amateur fight, Montalvo stuck to his guns and outclassed his Trinidadian opponent to secure a unanimous decision. The Cuban transplant improves to 4-3 in his amateur career representing the Cayman Islands.

Cayman’s Hepseba Angel went toe-to-toe versus Kenisha Clarke in a crowd-pleasing women’s middleweight showdown. Making her debut, Angel seemed to feed off the energy of the packed gym, running away with a unanimous decision on her debut.

Hepseba Angel (blue top) did not disappoint on debut.

It was a straight up brawl in a super heavyweight fight between Jaden Eccelston, making his ring debut for the Cayman Islands, and Haquille Defreitas. The heavy-handed Eccelston dished out more than his opponent could handle and the referee stopped the contest in the third round, having seen enough fireworks.

Cayman’s other boxer making her debut, 15-year-old Leah Lajat found the going tough against Shawnelle Hamid in their women’s bantamweight clash. It was always going to be a challenge for the young fighter, after being asked to show the referee that she was able to continue following a standing eight count inside the first minute of the opening round. She held on to go the distance in the three-round fight but fell to a unanimous decision in favour of Hamid.

Jaden Eccelston celebrated his debut win in style.

Cayman Islands Boxing Association head coach, Floyd Trumpet, assessed his team’s performance in their first outing under his guidance. “Some did well and lived up to expectations, but I think we have a lot of work to do still,” he said.

Trumpet, who had his fighters facing those from his homeland, was impressed with those making their debuts. “They didn’t disappoint. Hepseba was brilliant with those jabs and Jaden is exciting but we can still see room for improvement also.”

He was pleased to have Montalvo get the decision as well. The coach said the work they have been doing in the gym paid off. “When we are sparring, I am his eyes. He does what I say. I see and tell him what to do. That way our rapport is building and he knows what to do and when to do it,” Trumpet said.

15-year-old Leah Lajat (white top) made her debut.

Smith, a 2017 gold medallist at the Caribbean championships, was back in the ring after a lengthy layoff.

“Having just trained for the past five months, I think he is rusty but I think what he lacks most is confidence,” Trumpet said. “The best way to do that is to get as many fights as possible to get him back where he needs to be.”

He added that both Barnes and Smith should be back to having positive decisions in the near future.

Smith (blue) returned to the ring after more than a year away from competitive boxing.

“We have work to do. My job has only started,” said Trumpet, who took up the job as CIBA head coach earlier this year. “I hope that as we go along the real talents can come out and go to work and get better results in the future. After we go back to the gym, we’ll talk it over and see how we move on from here. We have some exciting guys and I hope they’ll be able to put on a performance so people can see that we are for real.”

Next up for the boxing association is a sports festival against visiting youth athletes from Port Arthur, Texas in July.

We’ll have more images posted to our Facebook and Instagram pages.

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