More boxing officials trained

CIBA fitness coach Rogerio Pitta officiates a training bout.

The Cayman Islands Boxing Association (CIBA) has bolstered the ranks of the officials available to referee and judge local bouts, with the recent training of more than half a dozen people under the tutelage of a senior international referee.

James Beckles of Trinidad and Tobago, a level three official with AIBA – the governing body for amateur boxing, spent a week imparting knowledge on new and existing local officials.

“We felt the need to improve the quality of our officials, we wanted to get more people in and see if anyone else was interested in becoming and official,” said CIBA Vice President Leyla Jackson, who also participated in the training. The association has only been able to rely on a small pool of people to choose from in the past.

Mr Beckles spent about three hours each day from 6-12 March conducting the sessions. He said “very good progress” was made by the participants.

“I focused mainly on the judging because that’s the most important part in judging, believe it or not. I realised that a lot of the officials here were not too familiar with the AIBA criteria for scoring, or legal blows. Now, they have learned it. Some of it they know verbatim. I think it should auger well for some different judging.”

The sessions were to ensure the officials are capable of competently handling bouts at a national level. Those who are keen on advancing to international status have a tall order before them. They need to judge at least 50 bouts and referee 30 others.

In addition to Ms Jackson, others attending the training were: Troy O’Neil, Angel Almanza, Rogerio Pitta, Kelly Pope, Cesar Aparil, and Jay Ehrhart.

They also worked on an electronic judging system that makes the process more efficient.

Ms Jackson said they’ve jumped at a suggestion made by Mr Beckles to host smaller events with greater frequency, rather than waiting for international fight nights. As such, a referees and judges commission is being established.

“The commission is going to host smaller bouts here at the gym, so our refs and judges can get more practise, as well as our younger boxers,” she told “In addition, what we are going to be doing is meeting informally during the week when the boxers are sparring to make sure that we don’t have big gaps in between our judging and our refereeing,” she said.

So, boxing fans can expect more action featuring some of Cayman’s up and coming boxers. Stay tuned for details.


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