September 21, 2020

BOXING CLEVER

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These three boxers will be carrying some weight on their shoulders.

Kendall Ebanks, Jesse Bodden and Dariel Ebanks will travel more than 7000 miles to represent Cayman in the AIBA World Boxing Championships.

The trio are currently training for the fights of their lives which will be held next month in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan.

They will join hundreds of boxers from around the world to battle it out for the prestigious medals at the tournament.

And if successful, it will next stop London for the 2012 Olympic Games.

“We’re all going there to win,” said Light Welterweight Kendall. “Nothing else will do. We want to bring gold back to Cayman.”

For 20-year-old West Bayer Kendall it will be an extra special journey.

After an impressive showing at the Pan America Trials in Panama he was hand picked to receive personal training and will be flying out to the former Soviet Union a week before his fellow pugilists.

“It is a real honour to have been picked. They saw potential when I fought in Panama and it is a fantastic opportunity to train with some of the best in the world.

“I remember when I was about 16 years old I watched a previous World Championships on DVD and thought to myself one day, that could be me.”

Kendall flies out to the camp on September 10th. He will be joined by 28-year-old Middleweight Jesse and 22-year-old Light Heavyweight Dariel on the 22nd.

Their journey has been sponsored by a combination of the Cayman Boxing Association and the Olympic Committee.

Jesse, from George Town, added: “We are all really excited about the journey that lays ahead. Personally I’m really looking forward to it, but maybe not the cold so much.”

If they can secure a silver or gold medal then it will be automatic qualification for the Olympic Games in London.

Failing that, if they finish in the top ten they will enter the Olympic trials to secure a place in next year’s games.

But there’s only talk of medals at the Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gym where the three lads train every spare minute they can.

Kendall may be softly spoken but once he gets in the ring he packs a deafening punch.

A recent trip to Kansas saw a set-back when he lost out on a dubious points decision.

But he’s put his disappointment behind him as he concentrates solely on the World Championships.

“I was sure I won in Kansas,” he said. “When the final bell sounded I raised my arm in victory I was that convinced.

“They announced the blue corner had won and I thought, hang-on, I’m red.

“I’ve just got to forget about it now and concentrate on Azerbaijan. This is great opportunity for me and I’m really going to grab it.”

The trio is coached by Norman “Storming” Wilson who will make the journey to Baku with the boxers.

Azerbaijan facts

Azerbaijan is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe.

Plov, a type of rice, is the national food in Azerbaijan and most people drink black tea.

More than half of it’s landmass contains mountain ridges

The currency in called Manat and has a very similar value to the Cayman dollar. Ten Cayman dollars is 9.70 Manat.

Just under 10million people live in Azerbaijan with more than two million living in it’s capital, Baku.

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