At a Boxing BC-sanctioned amateur boxing event held in Abbotsford June 25, Sunshine Coast boxer George Vourtsis returned to the competitive ring after a six-year hiatus.
Coast boxing fans will recall that Vourtsis was the WBC Western Canadian champion and Canadian silver medalist as well as a headliner at past War On The Shore events held in Gibsons.
Now in his mid 40s, the very fit 23-fight veteran Vourtsis is initially required to box in the “Masters” category for boxers over 40 years of age.
Weighing in at 151 pounds, he was matched with veteran boxer, 162-pound Robin Visanuvimol, who owns Beyond Boxing in Burnaby.
Because of the weight difference, this had to be an unscored exhibition bout per Boxing Canada rules.
That didn’t cause the seasoned boxers to hold back.
The pressuring Vourtsis matched his boxing skills against the mobile Visanuvimol who brought a big bag of boxing tricks to the fight.
The men boxed evenly throughout the fight with Vourtsis boxing his worthy opponent into the ropes late in the last round to fight at his preferred distance.
“This was a good starting point for George Vourtsis to get his foot in the door the Boxing BC and show the officials what he can do in the ring,” said SCBC founder Rick Shannon
Vourtsis plans to work is way into the competitive boxing mainstream and fight the best of the current generation of BC amateur boxers.
Also representing the Sunshine Coast at this event was debuting 156-pound Bryan Rono from Sechelt against also debuting Mission boxer Russ Heron.
With both boxers exhibiting first-fight nerves, boxing skill and tactics were quickly set aside and the boxing match turned into a wild, crowd pleasing brawl for the two and a half rounds the fight lasted. Both boxers were staggered and received precautionary standing eight counts from a very good referee.
With under a minute left in the fight, Rono was hit with a right hand bomb from Heron.
The referee gave Rono a standing eight count and when he determined that Rono was no longer competitive he “risk managed” and stopped the fight declaring Heron the winner.
Uninjured and not discouraged, Rono looks forward to fighting another day.
It is notable that at least three dozen enthusiastic Sunshine Coast Boxing Club supporters made the trip to Abbotsford to cheer on Rono and Vourtsis.
“When our Sunshine Coast boxers were in the ring their supporters were so loud we could have been boxing in Gibsons,” said Shannon.
The Sunshine Coast Boxing Club trains at 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday at 1039 Venture Way in Gibsons.
Recreational, fitness and competitive boxing training is offered.