A move up to the Flyweight class was too daunting a task as two-time Caribbean Light Flyweight champion Brandy Barnes lost her opening bout of the American Boxing Confederation (AMBC) Pan American Qualifiers Thursday (4 April) in Managua, Nicaragua.
A referee stoppage in the second round awarded Miguelina Hernandez of the Dominican Republic the victory, handing Barnes just the third loss in the eighth amateur bout of her young career. Coach Stuart O’Connor says Barnes could not land on a consistent basis.
“Brandy didn’t quite get going,” said O’Connor. “Maybe the higher weight was her downfall. She tried to get her shots off early, and was catching the Dominican with ease. She didn’t capitalize on it though. She wouldn’t let her shots go, the other girl’s confidence grew, and she started backing Brandy up.”
After a productive first round, O’Connor was confident in the game plan going into the second. He says a stoppage came due to Barnes’ inactivity.
“When we came out in the second round, the game plan was to take it to her,” said O’Connor. “We were walking her down, but Brandy wasn’t really throwing the shots to capitalize. It wasn’t stoppage worthy really, but Brandy just wasn’t throwing anything,” he said. “The weight was probably too much on the day.”
Overall, O’Connor was happy with Barnes’ progress over the eight-week camp in the United Kingdom. After a win at March’s Hvidovre Cup in Denmark, the Brit said a move back to Light Flyweight is the next best step.
“Brandy continues to improve and has been good in the UK boxing a high-level caliber of girls,” said O’Connor. “She is in the mix with the 48-kilogram girls in the region. She just needs to keep working and gaining experience. I’d personally like to see her enter the Pan Am Championships in Honduras at 48kg in June.”
Cayman Islands Boxing Association President Leyla Jackson praised the young pugilist for her effort.
“We obviously hoped for a better result, given her positive progress in Europe over the last couple of months and decent drawing,” said Jackson. “We all have off days, and we are proud of her commitment and continued positive attitude. She is genuinely an excellent role model for our young boxers who we hope will follow in her footsteps.”
Barnes amateur record falls to 5-3.