The Sunshine Coast Boxing Club returned to the ring in a big way on Friday, Nov. 4 at the Cascades Casino in Langley.
City Boxing of Langley hosted the event and according to Coast club founder Rick Shannon, City Boxing has organized a new provincial boxing association called Combsport over the past year.
"Due to the political and financial issues, Boxing BC has had the last half dozen years many clubs and boxers have gone over to Combsport to enjoy its down-to-earth, old-school approach to amateur boxing," said Shannon.
Coast boxers George Vourtsis in the 147-pound weight class and Cale Fraserin the 172-pound weight class had their first Combsport fights Nov. 4.
"The old-style program allows boxers 18 years of age and older to fight without tank tops or head gear and the rules are a hybrid of Boxing Canada and professional rule books," said Shannon. "This allows for a more entertaining boxing style with less interference from the referee and the old time 20-point must system eliminating the costly computer scoring which creates a 'fencing' style of boxing that can bore the spectators."
Vourtsis was matched with a muscular White Rock boxer Gurpreet Buttar.
At the bell Vourtsis set himself solidly in front of the attacking Buttar who was throwing wide, knockout punches. Vourtsis calmly blocked these powerful blows and threw his own straight counter punches stunning the wide-open White Rock slugger.
Immediately the crafty Vourtsis spun his foe into the corner and rained power laden combinations upon Butter. Buttar escaped the corner only to be cut off by Vourtsis who then caught him with a big right hand, dropping him to the canvas.
"To his credit Butter showed lots of heart and wanted to continue the fight, but was assessed by referee Diane Dutra, a former world professional boxing champion, as being too wobbly to continue in the bout and the fight was stopped to protect Buttar from an inevitable beating and possible injury," added Shannon.
Next up was Fraser a 22-year-old boxer/slugger in only his second bout. Fraser was matched against Andrew Blanco from Richmond whoappeared to out weigh Fraser by about 10 pounds.
Fraser a lanky light heavyweight, met the mauling Blanco at centre ring and began measuring him with long, stiff left jabs to Blanco's face in an effort to set up the right cross.
Fraser would set up Blanco for the big right hand which scored well for him and Blanco would protect himself by rushing Fraser and pinning him on the ropes where Fraser would cover up and then counter punch before spinning off the ropes, often cornering Blanco and raining punches upon him.
By the middle of the third round, Fraser was clearly in control of the fight when in the middle of a flurry of punches Blanco suddenly fell to the canvas in pain.
"It was determined by the ringside doctor that Blanco's shoulder had dislocated, and forcing him to concede the bout to Fraser," said Shannon. "The fight was a good one for Fraser as he had to fight hard against a tough guy and will see where the skills he has developed in the gym can be used in all out competition. Being smart and athletic Cale can have many great boxing experiences as long as he wants to stay in the sport."
Once again a vocal contingent of Coast boxing supporters travelled to the fights and had a goodtime cheering onthe Gibsonsboxers.
To top off a great evening, Shannon, who also judges and referees boxing, was given the honor of refereeing the main event, the B.C. Light Heavyweight Championship bout between boxers from Kamloops and Mission.