Two amateur boxers with similar backgrounds will clash for B.C. welterweight supremacy Friday at the Coast Hotel.
The 27th installment of the Clash at the Cascades amateur boxing series will be highlighted by a battle for the B.C. welterweight belt between Josh Wright from White Rock and Maple Ridgeâ€™s Oliver Vajda.
Wright, from the Ocean City Boxing Club, is leaving the 154-pound division where he is the current B.C. titleholder, and moving to the 147-pound welterweight division.
Wright has in the past done a lot of kickboxing and, according to Clash matchmaker and organizer Dave Alllison, â€œhas proven he is an elite level boxer over the past few years.â€
He faces Vajda, from Carlson Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu MMA. Vajda has an accomplished 8-1-0 mixed martial arts record and has been boxing of late.
He has been boxing in Combsport for two years and is undefeated in the sweet science.
â€œThe Wright/Vajda fight is going to be explosive and is an example of the future of amateur boxing allowing the sport to be more inclusive,â€ Allison said. â€œUntil Combsport came into the scene four years ago, martial artists or their clubs and coaches had to avoid disclosure of their martial arts activity to be involved in boxing. This continues to this day in the old IABA associations.â€
Allison said Combsport and its affiliates â€œallow martial arts athletes to compete in amateur boxing with full disclosure and medical oversight. This is not only safer, it is also more inclusive and increases fight opportunities.â€
This is one of the reason boxers in Combsport and the WBC affiliates get so many fights and keep busy, in Allisonâ€™s opinion.
Looking ahead, Allison predicts it will be â€œa great fight.â€
â€œI remember seeing Vajda in his first boxing match about two years ago and I was surprised at his boxing skills,â€ Allison said. â€œI am not surprised he has stayed undefeated.â€
Allison said being a Combsport BC champion is tough.
â€œYou not only have to win a title but you have to defend it and keep it, you are always subject to challenge,â€ Allison said. â€œWright has proven himself, winning and holding the 154-pound title and now he is looking beyond B.C. The Western Championships and the WBC Canadian Championships may be in his future, if he can get past Vajda. This is an important fight for both fighters.â€
One of the most exciting divisions in local boxing is the light heavyweight division and the semi main event will give fans a sample of this division, Allison said.
City light heavyweight champion Julian Kim of Port Kells will defend his City title against Marcus Baptiste of Vancouverâ€™s Action Gym.
These are two of what is scheduled to be a 10-bout card that will also feature Scott Woodward and Kevin Dhanda from Langleyâ€™s City Boxing Club.
While this is not Woodwardâ€™s first bout, it is his first with City Boxing.
Woodward will take on undefeated Peter Lopez from Victoria in welterweight match.
Dhanda is slated to face Scott Ewan from Gibsons in a light heavyweight match-up.
Tickets for the show are available at the door, which open at 7 p.m.
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