Disappointment for Dariel

Ebanks (blue) plans to keep pursuing his dream of an international medal.

Top Cayman Islands amateur boxer Dariel Ebanks fell by unanimous decision to Englishman Benjamin Whittaker in their round of 16 middleweight (75kg) bout at the XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia on Sunday, 8 April 2018.

From the first round, Ebanks, 28, struggled with Whittaker’s sneaky movements and was unable to set the tone for the fight. “He was running a lot…he got me off my game. I’m a fighter, that’s what I do. I’m not used to all the running up and down,” the 28-year-old southpaw said.

However, the West Bay native said he was not about to make excuses. “He was the better man. We were both giving it all we had. He was fading, I was fading. He’s a great fighter. I have to give it up to him.”

Ebanks found it tough to make an impact against a crafty opponent.

When questioned about if there was anything he could do to counteract his 20-year-old opponent’s style, Ebanks said: “Nah. That’s just the way he fights. He hits and runs. I was trying to catch him with a good shot but he had a good eye. He kept dodging them.”

He lamented not using his jab more because that was the only sustained contact he could make on his crafty opponent. “I should have started off with that because I have a great jab. It got me off the game plan.”

Despite the disappointment, Ebanks vowed to press on. “I’ll keep going till I can’t go anymore,” he said. “I want to get a major medal in an international tournament. I’m not giving up until I get one.”

Ebanks could not contain his disappointment when the result was announced.

The Caymanian had advanced to this fight after his opening round opponent from the South Pacific island of Nuie failed to make weight.

Meantime, national team coach Ryan Barrett, who was in Ebanks’ corner, though disappointed, was full of praise for his fighter.

“The only thing I’ll say about Dariel Ebanks is he’s always done his very best in the ring and does the Cayman Islands proud,” Barrett said.

Earlier, Cayman’s other boxer at the games, Brandy Barnes, lost her opening fight against a fighter from Sri Lanka after the referee stopped the contest near the end of the first round with the Sri Lankan overwhelming Barnes.

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