Ebanks upset at Caribbean championships

Dariel Ebanks (file photo) moved down a weight class.

It was a shocker for the Team Cayman camp at the Caribbean Development Boxing Tournament in St Lucia Thursday night (14 December). Dariel Ebanks, the most accomplished fighter on the team and a gold medallist from last year’s tournament, lost his first bout of the competition.

Ebanks, who’s fought comfortably at light heavyweight for quite a while, moved down to middleweight for the tournament. He faced St Lucia’s Keegan Mortley at the Beausejour Arena.

A text from Cayman Islands Boxing Association president Leyla Jackson to CaymanSportsBuzz.com read: “Even against the home crowd, Dariel should easily have outclassed the St Lucian, but he didn’t. To our shock (because he landed more shots albeit not a clear win) the bout went to the St Lucian in a split decision.”

Ahead of the championships, Ebanks was considered among local boxing insiders to be a clear-cut favourite to return with another gold medal around his neck.

The 28-year-old will need to put the result behind him as he prepares for the Commonwealth Games in Australia next April. Reports are that Ebanks complained about not feeling at full strength because of the recent weight lost to move down to a lighter division. It’s not yet clear if Ebanks will continue at 75kg or return to his accustomed weight class.

Alexander Smith

In other action, 19-year-old Alexander Smith easily defeated Antigua and Barbuda’s Jeremiah Toussaint for Cayman’s first victorious bout at the tournament. Smith from West Bay advanced to the final in the bantamweight division.

Jackson said there was a noticeable difference in Smith’s technique in the ring since representing the Cayman Islands at the Commonwealth Youth Games in July. The difference was “astounding”, Jackson said. “He was excellent.”

The other Team Cayman fighter in the ring on Thursday was Diego Rodriguez against Jerome Joseph of Grenada. After a strong start, the 20-year-old lost the plot and paid the price when his opponent from the Spice Isle rocked him with some strong shots, causing the referee to stop the contest.

On the opening day, Eduardo Montalvo, Thase Watler and Romario Campbell were all defeated.

The rest of the Cayman Islands boxers have been drawn into straight finals and take to the ring on Friday.


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