Local fighter tipped to make it big

| 17/09/2013

(CNS): One young local boxer could be looking at a career in the sport after his great performance at the weekend battling it out against a more experienced opponent from Cuba, when the Cayman Islands Boxing Association hosted the Dalmain Ebanks Champions Invitational boxing extravaganza at Pedro St James on Saturday. The final bout of the evening involved Cayman’s young star Tafari Ebanks against Norlan Yera Diaz, a world champion boxer. Ebanks demonstrated real courage and skill, received cuts and bruises in the process, but fought to the end and beat his more experienced opponent on a points decision, catching the eye of Cuba’s boxing coach.

Professor Jesus Dominguez, who is also here to review the Cayman Islands Boxing programme, is a Cuban boxing legend, a famed boxing technical instructor and chief adviser to AIBA. He said that he had been watching Ebanks for some time.

“At the rate that that young man is improving, he will be one of the greatest Olympic Champions the world will ever see,” he declared after the bout Saturday night.

Professor Dominguez is also in Cayman to provide an audit of CIBA’s training programme and assist in its development towards the next Olympic Games. The next competition for the Cayman national team will be the World Championships hosted by AIBA in October in Kazakhstan. The Cuban team has also stayed to take part in the training with the local team until they depart on Thursday.

Coming from a country known for their boxing prowess, the visitors helped to put on a great boxing event at the weekend, which began with two bouts from the Extended After School boxing programme.

12-year-olds Finn Millward and Callum Smith demonstrated the skills and determination that they have learned through participating in the programme, with Millward getting the better of Smith after two rounds.

Then Bruce Lee Coulson fought Shawn Rankine, both from Cayman, with Coulson winning on points. The third bout involved two Cuban heavyweights, Emmanuel Reyes Platt and national champion Frank Sanchez. Reyes started faster, but Sanchez paced himself better to win on points.

Light-welterweight, Cuba’s multi-medaled Luis Oliva Gener showed why he is one of the world’s best in his division with a points victory over Cayman’s Kendall Ebanks, who pressed throughout the bout but just lacked that little extra to beat a more experienced opponent.

Cuban boxing has a long and rich history and is globally renowned for the quality of their amateur boxing programme. Organizers said it was an honor for four of their top fighters to display their skills here but they were equally pleased with the performance of the local young fighters.

“We are so proud of the event and how far our fighters have come,” said a spokesperson for the CIBA. ”To be able to hold their own against world-class Olympic boxers really demonstrates just how much progress they have made in the last eighteen months. We are also honoured to host the Cuban boxing delegation, who are very excited to be on island and have demonstrated great enthusiasm for the beauty of Cayman.”

Members of the Boxing Association took the Cubans to Cayman Cabana after the bout for a taste of Cayman-style dinner and dancing, as well as a trip to Stingray City on Sunday, which Frank Sanchez said was the best time he ever had in his life.

The Cayman Islands Boxing Association thanked everyone who came out to watch the event and everyone who assisted with the event and our sponsors, who made the event possible. Long-term sponsors are the Ministryof Sports, Dart Foundation, Cayman Airways and Paramount Media. Event sponsors were Elite Marble and Granite, Scott Security, Cayman Cabana and One Tree Four Five.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    poster 11:25 research the medal information yourself , don't  knock my Olympic book .


  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a Caymanian who could achieve greatness with the right people behind him. Does the mininster have plans to help this young man ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you suggesting that the Minister put him on a $100K per year Nation Building Scholarship so he can get lazy and run around campaigning for the Minister until he no longer has the hunger to go to the gym and train?

  3. Anonymous says:

    12 yr. olds boxing? Isn't anyone concerned about head trauma? Sure head injuries happen in other collision sports like football, wrestling and ice hockey, but boxing is the only sport that encourages and rewards direct blows to the head and face. Disgraceful in this day and age.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Excellent!  Now PLEASE go box that smug grin off Mayweather's face!!  :o)

  5. Anonymous says:

    anyone that watched tafari that night knows he can be great , but he needs to get off this rock to keep his level of boxing high, and i say high because getting a win against a tob Cuban fighter is no walk in the park , the Cuban boxers have won more Olympic medals than all other countries combined that send boxers. this kid is something special.

  6. pmilburn says:

    Well done Tafari and remember to work hard stay focused and you will reap the rewards as you move forward.

  7. Whodatis says:

    Congrats, Tafari.

    To beat a more experienced, world champion Cuban boxer is impressive enough – but to receive such accolades from a seasoned Cuban boxing legend is a major achievement.

    At the end of the day a lot of boxing boils down to natural born talent – especially in your weight class. Therefore, I hope you receive the support and funding from the community that you deserve.

    Stay focused and I wish you all the best going forward!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh who dat is. You must be the only one who could write something so nice and still get a troll lol

      • Whodatis says:


        Oh yeah … I'm used ot it by now.

        In any event, my detractors are simply defeating their purpose by such ridiculous antics.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is wonderful to read such a positive article! Congrats to the CIBA for a job well done and to the local boxers! I hope that they will continue to receive the support and guidance needed to continue to progress!