Itâ€™s no secret that the Clash at the Cascades amateur boxing shows have become a hit in the Lower Mainland.
The 26th version of the Clash also showed the series has a very vocal and definite fan base, according to Dave Allison who, along with his son James, organizes the events.
The elder Allison says doing shows in January are always tough and are almost always a problem in the matchmaking.
â€œChristmas and the holidays always leaves the gyms empty and athletes getting back in the gym in time for the fights is never easy,â€ he added.
In December everybody claims they are going to stay training through the holidays but by mid-January everything is different, Allison said.
â€œThis show, we lost several fights however the pool of active boxers in the sport is so deep there was always someone to take the place of a boxer that pulled out,â€ Allison noted.
A case in point was the main event.
Two days before the show one of the boxers scheduled to compete in the main event pulled out because of a shoulder injury.
â€œI replaced him and the result was one of the best fights of the night,â€ Allison said.
A crowd of about 350 took in an 11-bout show that had â€œa kind of international flavor,â€ Allison said.
There were youngsters, women and elite Seniors all in the mix.
The main event was to be a B.C. super welterweight championship match.
Champion Josh Wright from Ocean Park Boxing was to defend against Ron Pryce of North Burnaby. When Pryce pulled out due to his injury, in came Vincent Franklin, all the way from Hamburg, Germany.
Franklin was in control until halfway in the third round when Wright found his range and nailed Franklin with a punch that turned the tide.
The fourth and final round was all Wright, who landed some heavy shots with all three judges scoring the round for him.
The result was a split decision for Frankin with one judge scoring a draw.
â€œIt was the kind of fight that made you want a rematch,â€ Allison said.
Port Kells light heavyweight Garret Halicki fought what Allison called â€œa warâ€ with Action Boxingâ€™s Marcus Baptisti.
The first two rounds was all Halicki, however, rounds three and four saw Baptisti land shots and make the fight very interesting, while Baptisti was always dangerous.
The decision went to Halicki, who will likely move down to 168 pounds and challenge for a Combsport City title in his next match.
What was most likely the best fight of the night was a 140-pound match.
Abbas Shah from Saskatchewan and Marcus Hume of Prince George went head-to-head in a very high-end bout.
â€œIt was very close and both boxers were outstanding,â€ Allison reported. â€œShah landed the best shots but Hume landed more.â€
The youth super welterweight championship between rivals Brennan Patterson and Beneet Bisla was a repeat of the last bout.
Patterson brought power and Bisla boxed, and the boxer won.
â€œThe fight was close as the other fights and Patterson had a monster of a last round but had lost the first three,â€ Allison said. â€œThe score cards favored Bisla because it is hard to have one round trump three.â€
Allison predicts that there will be a Bisla-Patterson four bout.
â€œThese two boxers have improved and have been good for each other,â€ he said.
The next Clash will be Feb 28 and will feature a pair of title fights, Allison said.