After an eight-week training camp, 22-year old Brandy Barnes will aim to become just second Caymanian athlete to qualify for the 2019 Pan Am Games Friday (5 April) at the 2019 American Boxing Confederation (AMBC) Pan Am Qualifiers held in Managua, Nicaragua.
Barnes is the defending two-time Caribbean Light Flyweight champion entering her third year as an amateur boxer. The Cayman Islands Boxing Association national will be moving up to the 51-kilogram Flyweight class for the second time.
The 22-year old has been training with former CIBA National Coach Stuart O’Connor out of the Poseidon Amateur Boxing Club in the United Kingdom that has included sparring sessions with 48-kilogram English Women’s champion Demi-Jade Resztan, and a strength and conditioning programme led by Southampton Football Club trainer Tom Smith.
“We worked together twice per week on a general strength programme tailored to boxing” said Smith. “The aim of the programme is to get stronger and more explosive to deliver harder punches by producing more force at a faster rate.”
Last month, Barnes won her first fight of 2019 at Flyweight in a three-round unanimous at the Hvidovre Box Cup in Denmark. She told Cayman 27 the bout gave her confidence going into what is arguably one the most important fights of her young career.
“I felt strong, so it makes me happy because I was able to apply some of the things Stuart and I have been working on,” said Barnes. “It makes me feel ready for the Pan Am Qualifiers.”
O’Connor is confident the young Caymanian is prepared for the high-level competition after what he calls a successful training camp.
“Brandy boxed well, and she comfortable at her new weight,” said O’Connor. “She was in full control throughout the contest, and has trained well over the last camp.”
Prior to her Caribbean title defense in December, Barnes lost in her opening bout of the AIBA Women’s Championships to Asian Games medalist Chorong Bak of South Korea. O’Connor says Barnes can see success in Nicaragua against similar competition.
“If the draw is kind to us, she has the potential to qualify for the Pan Am Games in Lima,” O’Connor said.
The draw for the 2019 AMBC Pan Am Qualifiers will be released Thursday (4 April). Barnes will need to finish top 7 in order to advance to the games.
Overall, Barnes holds a record of 5 wins and 2 losses:
March 2019: W vs S Sahill (SWE) Hvidovre Box Cup, Denmark
December 2018: W v Joanne Williams (GUY) Caribbean Championships, Guyana
November 2018: L v Chorong Bak (KOR) AIBA Women’s World Championships, New Delhi
June 2018: W v Asher Ferdinan (STM) Battle of the Islands, St. Maarten
April 2018: L v Anusha Dilrukshi Koddithuwakku (SRI) Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Australia
December 2017: W v Precious Lythcott (BAR) Caribbean Championships, St. Lucia
November 2017: W v Saima Saikh (ENG) Amateur Boxing Alliance Championships, England