Rough start to Caribbean championships

Thase Watler (blue) lost in his debut at the Caribbean championships.

It was tough going for Team Cayman on the opening night of the 2017 Caribbean Development Boxing Tournament in St Lucia on Wednesday, 13 December. Three fighters from the 345 stepped into the ring and none left victorious.

Romario Campbell, who has been battling injury in recent months, faced off against Jervis Regis of Grenada. With the fight in the third and final round, Campbell’s shoulder problem was too much to overcome, as reports are that he re-injured it and a decision made to end the bout.

The next Team Cayman boxer in the ring was light welterweight Thase Watler against Steeven Denoe of Guadeloupe. The French fighter was too much for the young Caymanian.

It was Watler’s first competitive bout after appearing in a handful of exhibitions on home soil. “However, think it was a very good learning curve for him and the other boxers were quite shocked to see how tough international level competition can be,” Cayman Islands Boxing Association president Leyla Jackson told

Lightweight Eduardo Montalvo was the third Cayman boxer into the ring. He faced Ajayi Jones of Barbados. After running out of steam in the final round, Montalvo’s bid for a win was ended after the referee gave him a standing-eight count.

Jackson said she was pleased that all fighters made weight in their registered divisions. With many boxers making their first representative tour of duty, the CIBA President said she believes the team will look to lift their game.

“I see the shock on their faces at how different it is from national level and I think the training tomorrow will be much more serious,” she said at the end of competition Wednesday night.

CIBA’s Rogerio Pitta is a referee at the tournament.

Three Team Cayman fighters are due in the ring on Thursday night. Southpaw Dariel Ebanks has moved down from the light heavyweight division in which he won the gold medal last year in Barbados and will face a hometown opponent. Diego Rodriguez will square off in the lightweight division against a Grenadian opponent and Alexander Smith faces Antiguan opposition in the bantamweight division.

The other members of the team are: Deandre Rowe – featherweight; Keanu McField-Jackson – light flyweight (Jr); Aaron Miller – bantamweight (Jr), Brandy Barnes – light flyweight; Chambria Dalhouse – flyweight; and Neandra Forbes-Morgan – featherweight.

Also in St Lucia with the team are coaches Ryan Barrett and Ernest Barnes. Rogerio Pitta has also made the trip to St Lucia as a match official and refereed on the opening night.

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