Teenage boxers make debuts for Cayman in Guyana

Charlie Nixon (L) and Deshane Vousden are representing Cayman in Guyana.

A pair of teenage amateur boxers will make their competitive debuts as they represent the Cayman Islands at the 4th Annual Caribbean Schoolboys and Junior Tournament in Guyana from 16-18 August. Deshane Vousden and Charlie Nixon left Wednesday accompanied by coach Floyd Trumpet.

Vousden will compete in the 75kg super heavyweight division, while Nixon will step between the ropes in the 60kg junior welterweight division at the tournament attracting competitors from other Caribbean countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela and the host country.

“I’m very excited and privileged to be representing my country. I just want to do the best for this island,” said Nixon, a 16-year-old student of St Ignatius Catholic School. “It means that I have to do the best that I can and show the rest of the world what the Cayman Islands can bring and what we have in our small island.”

Vousden, too, was excited when he spoke to Cayman Sports Buzz but admitted having some butterflies in the stomach. “I’m proud to know that I’m representing my island. I’m feeling kind of nervous but I’m just focused on winning,” said the 15-year-old John Gray High School student.

These are a small sample of the revived Cayman Islands Boxing Association (CIBA) youth programme that has the Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gym packed most weekday afternoons after school.

Vousden (left) and Nixon have been training under the watchful eyes of coach Floyd Trumpet (centre).

“They are two good youngsters from a pool of talented boxers,” explained CIBA lead coach, Floyd Trumpet, who added that the summer break has impacted turnout for training. “These are two of the ones who are more dedicated, so they are the ones going to the tournament.”

CIBA President Leyla Jackson noted that this is the first time in several years that they have been able to send young boxers to a tournament like this. “It’s a huge achievement for us because it shows that we’re really working on developing our junior and grassroots programmes.”

Trumpet has been putting the young pugilists through intense training ahead of their trip to Guyana.  

“Training has been extremely intense over the past month. We’ve been working hard on speed and agility, also stamina so I can make it through all of the rounds,” Nixon said. Vousden was blunter in his assessment. “It has been rough, but you have to fight for what you want.”

The coach said the teenage boxers have shown tremendous improvement since he began training them about six months ago, and he has high hopes for them. “I always expect the best but I appreciate any result that they will get. My goal is that we will get two gold medals.”

Here is his assessment of the fighters: “Deshane is very aggressive and moves well for a big guy, and Charlie has good willpower, so we have a good team going to this tournament.”

Trumpet said, however, that performing well at this tournament is not the ultimate goal. He sees the Guyana tournament as a stepping stone for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago in 2021.

“This is an experience to get them accustomed to competition fighting because most Caribbean countries train for a fight but amateur boxing involves many fights in one week. So, this is a stepping stone for them to understand tournament-style fighting,” he said.

Cayman Sports Buzz will have updates from the tournament when it begins.

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