Ebanks back with a bang

Dariel Ebanks shook off the ring rust to win for the 11th time as an amateur boxer. The West Bay native returned to the ring Saturday, 9 July after a near two-year hiatus and an abandoned professional career.

The southpaw stepped between the ropes against Canadian Yanik Huet Cardinal as the feature bout during the Elite Marble and Granite Fight Night 2 at the Lions Centre.

Yanik Huet Cardinal (L) with Dariel Ebanks after the fight.

Yanik Huet Cardinal (L) with Dariel Ebanks after the fight.

Ebanks, who tipped the scales in the light heavyweight division at 178 pounds was a bit hesitant to unleash his jab in the first round. Later, he explained that was due to the unfamiliarity of his opponent, who he learned of just days before the fight.

“I don’t know what he was going to do. I didn’t know how he was going to react. That’s why I used a lot of feints,” Ebanks said when questioned by CaymanSportsBuzz.com’s Ben Meade after the fight.

In the second, Ebanks opened up with a heavy left that appeared to cause the Montreal-based fighter some discomfort. New national team coach, Ryan Barrett, instructed Ebanks to give himself some room to land power punches with his left. At the same time, the eager crowd urged him on with shouts of “throw it”.

Entering the third with confidence, Ebanks pummelled Cardinal early then evaded a few of the Canadian’s attempts. The Caymanian would “eat” a few punches late but not enough to alter the result.

In the end, the judges awarded Ebanks a comfortable win by a margin of 88-82 to improve his amateur record to 11-5, while dropping Cardinal to his fourth loss in seven amateur fights.

“It’s [a] great [feeling],” he said afterward. “I just need to go and train a lot harder. I know where I’m at now and I know where I can be. I’ve been with the top [amateur fighters] in the world and I just need to get back up there.”

After his first win in 24 months, Ebanks has his eyes on the pinnacle of amateur boxing. “Every boxer has his eyes on the Olympics and that has always been a dream of mine. I just have to get back into shape.

Montalvo was impressive in his first official fight.

Montalvo was impressive in his first official fight.

Earlier, Eduardo Montalvo satisfied the desire of a boisterous crowd in his amateur debut. The Cuban, who now hails from George Town, had the crowd eating from his hands by the time he stepped into the ring. Ironically, without a record to boast of, the young fighter selected DJ Khaled’s “All I do is win”, which appeared to pump up his fans.

At the sound of the opening bell, the lightweight pugilist attacked Canadian Massyl Lardjane with a flurry of punches. The crowd cheering lustily with each landed attempt. With a highly partisan crowd in his favour, Montalvo showcased gamesmanship usually reserved for more seasoned fighters. However, he nearly paid the ultimate prize as Lardjane landed a few power shots.

In the third, both fighters landed a variety of power punches, although Montalvo was clearly in the lead. The judges’ scorecards reflected this with a comfortable 89-82 result.

Welterweight Bruce Lee Coulson  did not need emcee Jay Erhart to read the scorecards to confirm his victory over Jayson Pierre of Montreal. It was a pretty even affair through the first three minutes. However, Coulson pressed the agenda in the second frame and turned the match into a brawl, putting Pierre down in the third after chants of “Let’s go, Bruce” echoed throughout Lions Centre.

The action-packed bout ended 90-81 in favour of the George Town resident, bringing rapturous applause when the result was announced.

Like Ebanks later in the night, Jason Parchment returned to the amateur ranks after an aborted professional career.

A few weeks after his last pro fight, the West Bay native stepped between the ropes against Canadian Simon Risler in a light middleweight bout with both fighters weighing in at 152 pounds.

Risler dominated the early going with a bevy of left hooks and straight rights and continued through the first round. It was more of the same in the second round with the exception that Parchment showed some heart and put up a fight, much to the delight of his father, Donie Anglin, who was in his corner.

Parchment fell to a 3-3 amateur record, while Risler improved to 8-1.

Opening the fight card was an exhibition between two young female fighters, Chambria Dalhouse and Liana Anderson. West Bay’s Alexander Smith lost his debut to Danial Savard, who was also making his first official appearance in the amateur ranks. Smith (1-0) lost by a margin of 88-83. With not much to say afterward, Smith simply thanked the fans for coming out and showing their support. The night’s other fight pitted Englishman Ronnie Muluck against Zachary Kofi Adu Fleurant in a welterweight encounter. It was a thriller as Muluck secured a razor-thin 86-85 edge on the scorecards.

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