Local boxers ready for Saturday’s fight night

Dariel Ebanks will be seeking his 12th amateur win.

Excitement has been high at the Dalmain Ebanks Boxing gym as local fighters get set for a card against English opposition Saturday night.

Elite Marble and Granite Fight Night 3 features a seven-bout card with members of the Cayman Islands national team stepping into the ring against boxers from Gumshield Gym in southeast London.

“Everybody is working a lot harder. Everyone is following instructions. They’re training a lot harder and we’re really developing into a team now,” said Dariel Ebanks, who will face Ohio-Kain Ikharia in a super middleweight bout at Lions Centre Saturday night.

Ebanks got his 11th amateur win over light heavyweight Yanik Huet Cardinal from Montreal in July. He said in the months since the fight night against Canada and then Bruce Lee Coulson winning a belt in Sugar Bert National Title Belt Qualifiers in Georgia later in the summer, the pace and excitement has increased in the gym.

“Everyone is helping each other out. Everyone is going in the ring and giving each other rounds of sparring. That’s what we were lacking before – getting enough sparring. Some of the guys didn’t have the confidence but we’re getting better,” he said, crediting Coulson’s success overseas as part of what has been driving the local boxers.

“That’s what we need. It gives us more exposure. It lets people know that we’re doing great things and people can actually back us,” Ebanks said.

Coulson puts in final preparations with Anglin.

Coulson puts in final preparations with Donie Anglin.

As for Coulson, he knows he has a lot to prove with the spotlight shining brightly upon him. However, he said he is not changing his mentality and expects to put whoever he fights on the canvas in the same way he did en route to his success Stateside.

“My goal is to have wins. It’s not about losing, giving up or going halfway,” he said in an interview on The Saturday Sports Show on Star 92.7FM last weekend ahead of his fight versus Billy Jackson in the welterweight division.

“Step in front of me [and] I’ll knock you out. I got a little insight on him but I rather go blindfold and see what happens,” Coulson said, explaining that he expected his opponent to have studied his style and does not want to be predictable based on that.

17 year-old Alexander Smith has been turning heads in the gym ahead of his return to the ring for his second bout. He lost his debut against Canadian Danial Savard on 9 July but national team coach Ryan Barrett said it’s like night and day comparing Smith to the fighter he was a few months ago.

“The difference in Alexander from July until now, he’s a totally different fighter,” Barrett said.

“He’s changed a lot from then,” Coulson added, agreeing with Barrett’s assessment of the teenage fighter. “What we have seen from him in the last couple of weeks is impressive. He’s pushing himself more than he was before and he’s keeping up with me and Dariel. It’s shocking to see him coming from then to now.”

Smith -Dalhouse

Alexander Smith  and Chambria Dalhouse.

Another highlight of the night is expected to be the first competitive fight for female pugilist Chambria Dalhouse. “She’s so determined. It’s nice to see a new face who wants to be part of this and do well,” the coach said.

“She has to move around with all the boys because we haven’t gotten any other girls for her to move around with. She’s getting some hard, hard rounds in,” he added, explaining that Dalhouse is all set for when she meets Tilly Cosgrove for their featherweight bout.

Welterweight Jason Parchment is also on the card. He fights Ronnie Mulock, who is back in Cayman after sparring with local fighters to help them prepare for the last fight night against Canada, which he also featured on and impressed local fans.

Jason Parchment.

Jason Parchment.

Dan Hewitt-Dean faces Darren Jackson in a light heavyweight fight. Eduardo Montalvo is also scheduled for a lightweight bout.

Barrett trained the Gumshield fighters before he accepted the job to be the national team coach in Cayman. His former wards are now under the instruction of his father but he said his sole focus on taking his 345 fighters as far as they can go (and not letting his old man get bragging rights).

“This one means more to me than anything. I don’t want my dad to come here and wipe me out. This is my team and I’m proud of my fighters. The others might have been my old team but this is my new team and this is my team going forward for the coming years,” he said.

The Elite Marble and Granite Fight Night 3 is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.

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