By all accounts, the WBC Canadian championships was a hit.
Friday’s amateur boxing extravaganza at the Coast Hotel ballroom was a sell out with what organizer Dave Allison from Langley City Boxing described as an “enthusiastic crowd.”
“In terms of the fights, the show was great with 10 well matched fights full of excitement,” Allison said. “All aspects of the event was just great and the WBC brand name was a hit.”
Roughly 500 boxing fans saw a competition billed as the “best of the east fighting the best from western Canada.”
“The result was electric,” Allison said, who noted that it was the first event in Canada using the rules of the 2016 Olympic Games.
The 10-point must system was used for scoring and the headgear came off.
There were no cuts and none of the boxers were knocked out.
“It was competitive and exciting boxing,” Allison said. “The crowd was into the show bout after bout.”
Langley lightweight Russ Lavery was named the evening’s top boxer after outboxing Marcus Sandhu from North Burnaby.
Profiled in the Sept. 12 Langley Advance [Pugilist targets WBC title] Lavery is now the WBC Canadian titleholder after defeating Sandhu, a last minute substitute after the eastern
Canadian opponent could not make it to Langley for the bout.
Sandhu had defeated Lavery a couple of months ago in a match fight, and was one of the more experienced boxers on the card.
However, Lavery had the momentum going in and had been very busy and active, unlike Sandhu.
“Both fighters were down in the fight but it was clearly Lavery who deserved the unanimous decision,” Allison reported.
Lavery didn’t escape the bout unscathed, however, suffering a broken thumb.
The very next day, Lavery flew to Thailand where he’s doing volunteer work through International Volunteer HQ.
The main event saw a very close cruiserweight bout pitting Ken Huber representing the west taking on eastern rep Renie Placid. Both boxers had their moments and the seesaw battle was very exciting and close.
The split decision went to Huber.
In the super welterweight division, BC Boxer of the Year Remy Lavoie took on Marko Szalai from the eastern team.
Allison said Szalai was outstanding and won a clear unanimous decision.
The welterweight fight pitted the east’s Lucas Rowe against the west’s George Vourtsis.
“This was what is called a style match up,” Allison shared. “Vourtsis is a brawler who likes it in the trenches and Rowe [is] a slick tall southpaw.”
In this case the slick southpaw prevailed and won a unanimous decision.
The featherweight title bout may well have been the best fight of the night, in Allison’s opinion. Eastern boxer Gabe Tiri seemed to have the edge on the west’s Lev Jackson.
“Tiri was bigger and seemed more polished, however Jackson seemed like he wanted it more,” Allison said. “This was a battle and there was no doubt after the final bell [that] Jackson was now a Canadian champion.”
Three-time Canadian champion Robert Couzens proved he is the real deal by defeating Jon Mauricio in a super middleweight match-up.
While the contest was competitive, Allison said “it was clearly Couzens’ fight.”
Due to cancellations at heavyweight and light heavyweight, bouts saw two eastern boxers and two west boxers square off against each other in separate bouts in those divisions.
In the light heavyweight division Julian Kim and Marti Aereola traded leather in a competitive bout that saw Aereola start fast before the contest evened out.
The decision went to Aereola.
In the heavyweight division, two fighters from the east tangled, with Bobby Sullivan defeating Sam Amro, who could not recover from a liver shot.
The women were in action and the east and west split on this one.
Super featherweight Nicole Powankumar from the east defeated Kait Robinson of the west in a hard-fought bout.
The lightweight contest saw two experienced women square off.
Mandy Taylor, who comes from a boxing family, represented the east and Jen Yagar was fighting for team west.
It was a very close fight and the judges could not agree. The resulting split decision went to Yager.
“It was a solid boxing match and the kind of match that shows how far women have evolved in the sport of boxing,” Allison said.
The event showed an enthusiastic group of boxers who are fully committed to the WBC amateur system, opined Allison, president of Combsport (British Columbia Combative Sports Association)
“It is apparent that the only thing that separates the WBC from being the leader in amateur boxing is time and exposure,” he added.
“It is simply a matter of getting back to the culture of boxing and away from the sterile atmosphere of IABA boxing. The attempt of IABA to enter the pros and try and make their brand of boxing exciting will unlikely work. They simply don’t get it.”
Combsport, which hosted the event, has a T-shirt that reads “you don’t play boxing,”
“The IABA brain trust may want think about those words,” Allison said. “Boxing is back and the WBC is now on the scene in amateur boxing.”
@ Copyright 2013