The 42nd instalment of the Clash at the Cascades boxing series crossed into uncharted territory last Friday night.
The monthly event, which organizer Dave Allison describes as the “bedrock of amateur boxing in British Columbia over the better part of the last decade, providing great opportunities for amateur boxers to develop,” successfully pulled off its first pro-am show in its history inside Langley’s Coast Hotel ballroom.
The pro part of the April 1 card featured Canadian Featherweight champion and Langley resident Sarah Pucek, who boxed in a non-title bout in the very first professional match to ever take place at the Coast.
Pucek took on crafty southpaw Stephanie Essensa from Red Deer Alta.
Essensa’s only career loss came to former world champion Lindsay Garbatt.
The bout saw both combatants displaying good footwork while trying to establish ring position.
“This is often the case when an orthodox fighter fights a southpaw,” said Allison, who is Pucek’s manager/trainer.
Allison said that Pucek “clearly won the first three rounds and was aggressive with her jab.”
The fourth round saw a change in tide when Essensa landed a solid straight left that was the best punch of the round.
Pucek came back well in the fifth with some solid right hands in what was a spirited round.
The result was a unanimous decision in favour of Pucek – one judge had it a shutout while the other two had it four rounds to one for Pucek.
“The fight was well boxed and strategic in nature,” Allison said. “A rematch with more rounds would be of interest to fight fans.”
Next up for Pucek is a match with Lucia Larcinese of Montreal in defence of Pucek’s Canadian championship.
This match is set for June 17 and will take place at the Coast hotel.
Pucek who has never lost a featherweight match, saw her pro record move to 6-2-1 with Friday’s win. Her two losses and draw occurred two weight divisions above her fighting weight of 126 pounds.
“Pucek weighed just under 124 and has been at this weight for three fights,” Allison said. “The featherweight limit is 126 pounds and she will be fighting at 122 pounds in the near future. When we are ready to challenge for a world title it will be at 122 pounds.”
The undercard featured a rematch between B.C. super welterweight champion Ari Ashari of Vancouver’s Raincity Boxing and Josh Wright of Ocean City Boxing.
In their first meeting Ashari won a very close decision that was disputed.
“Wright was not allowing the judges to decide,” Allison reported. “Instead he used his right hand and stopped Ashari in the fourth round.”
In other matches, Tyson Gemby of Carlson Gracies won a decision over Cody Robertson of Surrey’s World Kickboxing in a super middleweight match-up, and Dave McCann stopped Harfi Bhullar of City Boxing in a light heavyweight bout.
The first match of the night was a draw between Abdul Fidel of Eastside Boxing and Jerome Serrano of Port Kells Boxing.
Next up is Clash at the Cascades 43 on May 6 at the Coast.