Boxing is back, and lifelong sport enthusiast Dave Allison is over-the-moon following last weekend’s first matchup for his crew.
During COVID, many sports faced training facility closures and cancellation of events. Boxing was no exception, said Allison, 66, head of Combsport – one of only two amateur boxing entities operating in B.C.
“In many cases boxing clubs were closed, and even when they were not closed, venues to facilitate boxing shows were restricted,” he elaborated. “Boxing needs to mount a comeback on the old tradition of the ‘club show’.”
Well, his boxers are working on their comeback story.
They participated in their first public match in more than two years at the Ibarra Boxing Club Show held at Savard’s in Surrey on March 26.
The fight of the night was a bout between Molly Fischer of Langley City Boxing Club and Jess Kobayashi of Unified Training Centre in Maple Ridge.
“The fight was intense and back and forth between the two,” Allison recounted.
The 126-lb fight had the crowd on its feet, he said, noting that Fischer won in a unanimous decision.
The show started with a public sparring match (exhibition) between two Langley City Boxing Club mates. It was a matchup of Nik Puri and Jovan Dosanjh, both , both 16-year-olds from Surrey who had never competed before.
The first scored fight of the night was a match between Luke Sturgeon, a 17-year-old of Unified Training Centre, and Justin Victoria, 18 of Langley City Boxing.
“The fight itself was very close and showed a remarkable amount of skill for two boxers fighting their first fight,” said Allison.
The 147-lb fight ended as a split decision in favour of Sturgeon – a split decision means the judges could not agree on the outcome.
The second fight including Langley City boxers was a “very exciting” match between A.J. Sears of Langley and Marcel Barralon of Urban Martial Arts, said Allison.
He called it a “spirited 168-lb senior match,” where Sears almost did not fight due to high blood pressure during the pre-fight medical.
“This is not unusual and is almost always due to nerves as was this case,” Allison explained, noting the bout was stopped in the third round in favour of Sears.
Allison was pretty excited to see his boxers back in the ring for competition after such a lengthy run of pandemic-related delays.
He was introduced to the sport by his father when he was only seven years old. Allison has been immersed in the sport ever since, and has gone on to train many fighters, including former world champion Diane Dutra and Canadian and Commonwealth Championship contender Sarah Pucek.
Allison and his son James founded The British Columbia Combative Sports Association (COMBSPORT) about 15 years ago. Pre-COVID, COMBSPORT, of which Allison is president, facilitated an average of 25 boxing shows per year, and he hopes to see that return.
The next show will take place later this month.
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