18-year-old Hepseba Angel is eager to show Cayman what she’s made of.
The middleweight will step into the ring in her amateur boxing debut Saturday (29 June) at the Elite Marble & Granite ‘Fight Night 5’ versus Trinidad & Tobago’s Kenisha Clarke.
“I don’t feel nervous or excited, but I do feel prepared because coach has been preparing me,” said Angel. “When it comes closer to the fight, I’ll feel more anxious about it but right now I am cool.”
The University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) student says she began boxing a few years ago, but scholastic commitments took her away from steady training.
“I started in Year 10, it was apart of an extracurricular activity,” said Angel. “It was really enjoyed it, there was seven of us, but after a while, it was down to two. I stuck with it, but when my exams came up my parents told me not to go so much. During the summer, I didn’t go as often.”
After travelling abroad for the fall semester, Angel says she’s given a full commitment to the sport since January. Since then, she says in-ring improvements have given her confidence she’ll come out victorious Saturday (29 June).
“I come everyday, and I see progress all the time,” said Angel. “That’s what encourages me to keep coming, and train harder.”
As the John Gray High School graduate sparred with a male teammate at the Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gym, she struggled to regain her breathe. Head Coach Floyd Trumpet reaches for her puffer. The 18-year-old suffers from asthma, but she isn’t letting it get in the way of having her hand raised in front of her home crowd come Saturday.
“I’ve always had asthma, but it only ever affected me when I did physical activities,” said Angel. “Outside of boxing, it doesn’t affect me. Since training with Coach Trumpet, I’ve seen improvements with it.”
Sparring with males. Asthma. On and off training. Angel says she makes no excuses.
“I expect any girl will be as good as a boy that I train with,” said Angel. “I want to surprise people, because I have more to prove for myself. Boxing is a way to push myself.”