New boxing R&Js gain certification

L-R: CIBA President Leyla Jackson, Hylton Grace, Gus Liapis, Charmane Dalhouse, Tejan Massalley, and James Beckles.

The Cayman Islands Boxing Association has a new cadre of referees and judges upon whom it can call to officiate bouts, with their trainer indicating they can be called upon to be a part of championship events elsewhere in the Caribbean.

James Beckles, an international boxing expert and the Caribbean’s highest-ranked technical official, conducted the Referees and Judges of AIBA (International Boxing Association) AOB Boxing certification training at the Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gym from 15-31 January.

AOB refers to AIBA Open Boxing, which was formerly known as amateur or Olympic boxing.

By the end of the training, Beckles said he was impressed with the nine participants. “I think you have a very good crop of officials here this time around – some ex-boxers and people really interested in the sport,” the Trinidadian told CaymanSportsBuzz.com.

“You’re building. They are beginners but they have done remarkably well. We had the trial event and they did pretty well. In fact, they exceeded my expectations.”

Course participants were: Charmane Dalhouse, Keiron Davies, Dan Devine, Hylton Grace, Gus Liapis, Junnest Madeira, Tejan Massalley, Jessica Richards, and Rachel Rush.

Beckles encouraged the newly-minted officials to ensure they keep their skills sharp with regular training. “There is regular sparring here every week, so they can come in and keep updated. I understand that they are going to have monthly bouts from now on, so that is going to give the practice they need,” he said.

The respected international referee and judge said standing in bouts locally is not the only opportunity on the horizon for his students. “We’ll be having championships in the Caribbean and I have assured them that I will send invitations for them to come. Some of them can come and build up on the experience they have,” he said.

Local coach and official, Rogerio Pitta, was an official at the Caribbean Development Boxing Tournament in St Lucia in December. He was one of seven people in the Cayman Islands to benefit from Beckles’ training last year.

 

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