Adrian Roach savours San Salvador atmosphere as he prepares for first CAC fight
Bermudian boxer Adrian Roach is soaking up the atmosphere in El Salvador as he prepares to represent the island in the Central American and Caribbean Games.
Roach, along with Meghan Calhoun and Lisa LeBlanc, who make up Bermuda’s beach volleyball team, have formed the advance guard in San Salvador with their respective competitions starting days before the rest of the team, and the fighter has been thrilled by what he has found at the Athletes’ Village.
“It’s beautiful out here,” Roach said.
“We flew out on Monday and arrived around midnight on Monday night. The village is really nice and gives out Olympic-esque vibes. It’s very official. All the countries have their own dorms, but all the athletes are mingling with each other and it’s a really cool space for athletes as everybody is surrounded by like-minded people.
“It’s a cool mix of not just boxing but every other sport, and it’s great to mix with people from different countries doing other sports. I’m really enjoying the environment.
“There is a whole dining hall and they know that they have a bunch of athletes, so there are lots of healthy options.
“I mean, there are also plenty of junk-food options for the athletes that don’t have to do weight-class sport, but it’s really catered towards athletes. There is lots of fresh fruit and there are mango trees everywhere.
“If you walk three steps, you see a mango on the ground, which is amazing. I’ve been picking them up and eating them the whole time I’ve been out. It’s really good and the nutrition means there is no problem making weight.
While already making the most of his experience, Roach is expecting the mood to improve when even more of Bermuda’s CAC Games squad arrive in the city in the next few days.
“At the moment, it’s a bit lonely in the Bermuda dorms,” Roach said.
“I’ve got a few of my mates flying in with the rugby team on Friday, so I get to see them, but the thing is at international games like this you get to make so many friends with other boxers.
“I have plenty of other boxers from Costa Rica, Barbados who I am interacting with and you have friends from around the boxing circuit, so it’s never too lonely and there are always plenty of opportunity for good conversations.”
Roach has represented Bermuda internationally on a number of occasions but never takes that opportunity for granted and dreams of being able to bring home a gold medal to the island.
“It’s an honour because not a lot of Bermudians get this opportunity,” Roach said.
“For them to hand-select me and to say that I have proved myself worthy to get to these games and represent the island, it’s a real honour to me.
“It’s a testament to my hard work and dedication over the years. I’ve been very focused on this sport ever since I’ve started and I’m glad that it’s starting to pay off and I’m really starting to see the benefits of the focus and not letting other things get to me.
“My target is always the best. I want to win gold at this thing and I feel like that’s very possible with the opposition that we have lining up in front of us.
“We have a few tough guys and experienced guys but that all comes with the sport. We’ve prepared really hard for this. I’ve never gone into a competition thinking that I am ill prepared or that I don’t have what it takes to win this thing.”
Roach found out only on Wednesday night that he will face Christiann Palacio of Venezuela on Friday at about 6pm Bermuda time, but the late announcement of his opponent is something that Roach takes in his stride.
“There are an odd number of fighters in my division, so only two are going to be fighting on Thursday and the rest will be fighting on Friday,” he said.
“That is just luck of draw and It really doesn’t matter to me when I fight.
“I’m ready, I’m really excited and can’t wait to go. I came out here to fight so whatever they throw at us, we’ll be ready. We’re happy with the preparation that we have done.”
However, Roach’s preparation was far from perfect as he had to scale back on training to recover from a shoulder injury but those problems are now behind him
“Back at home, we had a little issue with training but these things happen when you are an athlete,” he said.
“You have to adapt but since we have been out here there is no problem with the shoulder and I have full confidence that it will hold up.”