Sunshine Coast Boxing Club member Randy Hollett made a triumphant return to the ring, winning his fight at the Cascades Casino in Langley, July 13.
Hollett returned to the ring after alengthy absence due to injury and a return of his thyroid cancer.
After a second major throat cancer surgery in January, Hollett set a goal for himself to return to competitive boxing. He did just that after he won a split decision over Jamie Chadwick of the Port Kells Boxing Club in their 75-kilo middleweight fight.
The 30-year-old from the Sunshine Coast lost the first round to the taller, younger fighter from Chilliwack, as Chadwick was able to keep the fight at a comfortable distance.
Between rounds, coach Ben Smith suggested adjustments to Hollett's fight plan, encouraging him to fight at a closer distance to Chadwick, allowing him to slip and counter-punch the hard-hitting Port Kells boxer's attack.
Shaking off the ring rust, the clever Hollett would draw Chadwick's attack, then make him miss, and make him pay.
He kept with this game plan until the last 20 seconds of the final round when helaunched an all-out attack to cement the decision.
Notable in the bout was the physical condition of both boxers, as they would box skillfully at a fast pace while not becoming winded.
"Randy is as tough a man as he is nice. To have overcome the cancer, trainand supporthis young family is impressive," said club founder and technical advisor Rick Shannon. "Randyis a leader at ourboxing club. He was ranked 10th heading into the fight. It will be really interesting to see where he ranks after this win."
Making his ring debut the same night was Gibsons' Graham Porter.
Porter, 39, started training in January and has worked off 25 kilograms.
Porter stepped into the ring at 90 kilograms to box an exhibition bout against Kelowna's Nick Austin, a former MMA fighter representing the MadKatz Boxing Club.
Austin and his coach Geoff Lawrence were asked by Shannon on short notice to box Porter as his scheduled opponent had withdrawn.
"I have had a strong working relationship with Geoff ever since Iwas a founder ofthe Revelstoke Boxing Club and he and Austin stepped up so Graham could box on this show," Shannon said. "Both men boxed hard, had fun and showed good sportsmanship which was a good first ring experience for Graham."
A dozen supporters from the Sunshine Coast accompanied the boxers.
Shannon wishes to thank coaches Smith and Todd Alain for preparing Hollett and Porter for this boxing event as well as CEP Local No. 1119 for providing boxing trunks for the club.