Pro boxing comes to Langley’s Coast Hotel ballroom on Friday, with the ring return of Langley’s Sarah Pucek.
Pucek holds the Canadian featherweight championship and will face tough southpaw Stephanie Essensa from Red Deer, Alta., in a non-title bout that will highlight Clash at the Cascades 42 on April 1.
Pucek has been ranked as high as No. 10 in the world by the WBC, however has been inactive due to school commitments.
Although she is still in collage, Pucek has reduced her work load, allowing her to continue her promising boxing career.
“Sarah has done most of her boxing state side and was an attraction at the Emerald Queen Casino Complex between 2008 and 2012,” Pucek’s trainer Dave Allison said. “She hopes to build the same following in her hometown, if possible.”
Pucek has lived in both Aldergrove and Fort Langley, but her roots are very much in this community.
She works at Thunderbird Show Park, which has sponsored her and supports her boxing career in all ways possible, Allison said.
Allison says Pucek can win a world title if she allows for time to develop her timing.
“She needs fights and we need to keep her busy,” Allison said. “She is a dedicated athlete with a work ethic second to none. She also possesses natural ability that is rare, this matched with her athleticism is a great combination. At 28 she is in her prime and came back to the sport with a great attitude.”
The Pucek/Essensa contest is scheduled for five rounds and is the only pro bout on the card.
Essensa will be the first southpaw Pucek has ever faced and since Essensa’s only loss is to former world champion Lindsay Garbatt, she is going to be formidable, Allison predicted.
Pucek has never lost a featherweight match and has been sparring with world renowned kickboxing champion Farinaz Lari, who is also a southpaw.
“This has been great sparring for Sarah,” said Allison, “and Farinaz is a very effective southpaw.”
The amateur semi main event will be a rematch between Ari Ashari – the B.C. super welterweight champion and Josh Wright, the former champion.
The two met March 11 in a very close bout which “many fans thought went to the wrong guy,” Allison said.
This amateur fight will be accompanied with other amateur fights including a four-round elimination between Tyson Gemby and Cody Robertson in a super middleweight match-up.
The winner will fight Brandon Kim on May 6, for Kim’s City title.
There will be an amateur undercard that will feature all senior boxers, and six amateur bouts are expected.
The bouts take place at the Coast Hotel, next door to the Cascades Casino. Tickets are $40 each, with ringside tickets costing $60. Children 12 and younger are admitted free.
Ringside tickets only can be reserved by calling 604-530-7897 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parking is free and there is a bar service at the venue.
The doors open at 7 p.m. and the action starts at 7:30 p.m.