Ryan Graham, Observer Reporter
The local boxing club was the place to be Dec. 10 as 2 Rivers Boxing Club hosted Rumble 21, which featured some of the best boxers this province has to offer.
It was a full lineup on the fight card with 11 matches on the night, featuring entertaining bouts from top to bottom and was highlighted by Dan Mott and Sabri Faruk in the main event.
Dan and James Mott, Kyle Black, Nick Kwiakowski, Heera Panasar, Lane Paley, Devin Mooney, Melissa O’Flynn and Alyssa and Kaitlin Flood represented the hometown club and showed what Quesnel boxing is all about.
The first match of the evening was a spirited contest with both boxers wasting no time as 2 Rivers’ Panasar and Kwiakowski slugged it out, throwing big shots to kick off Rumble 21.
With the first round coming to an end it would be Panasar who would deliver a number of shots to take the momentum in the early stage of the bout.
Knowing he had to get back in the fight Kwaikowski came out swinging as he tried to re-gain momentum, utilizing a number of head and body blows.
Both boxers would not hesitate in the third knowing the bout was on the line as they gave everything they had, but in the end it would be Panasar who would come out victorious in the highly entertaining match.
Both were also awarded the Logan Reeve award for being the best young boxers at the Rumble and the crowd definitely took notice as they received a huge ovation at the conclusion of the bout.
Head coach Wally Doern said he was shocked how the bout between the two went.
“They were really aggressive with each other and I was quite surprised by that,” Doern said.
“What I admired from both of them was their heart and willingness to persevere.”
The second match of the night was an exhibition bout which featured O’Flynn of 2 Rivers, who faced off against Deneca Quesnel of Prince George with both boxers displaying good skill and technique in the ring.
Noah Woods of Kamloops went up against Murray MacDonald of Fort St. John in the third match of the night which went in favour of MacDonald in a unanimous decision.
Both would deliver big shots to begin the bout but it would be MacDonald, who sustained the pressure through the three rounds to go home with the win.
The fourth match of the night saw 2 Rivers’ Paley face off against Nick Young of Fort St. John with both boxers holding nothing back, but in the end it would be Young who would walk away with the victory in a thrilling contest.
Paley utilized good head movement and combinations to keep his opponent off balance in the early stages of the match, but Young would sustain his attack throughout the match and rack up the points to earn the decision.
Jag Seehra and Jamie Williams both of Nanaimo faced off in the next bout with both displaying good skills.
Seehra, who is a national medalist showed good speed and head moment in the ring, keeping his opponent off balance for most of the fight and delivered big body shots when the opportunity arose, in an entertaining match.
The sixth bout of the night saw James Mott of 2 Rivers go up against Ray Brown of Fort St. John with both showing good movement and punch combinations, but in the end it would be Mott who would get the decision in a spirited contest.
Kyle Black was next to represent 2 Rivers as he faced off against Braydon Simms of Fort St. John, in what could only be described as a slugfest.
Both came out of the gate going for the win as they delivered big shots looking to gain the early advantage.
The second and the third would be much of the same as both delivered a flurry of combinations in a thrilling exhibition contest.
Doern said they had to adjust their gameplan after Simms picked up his pace.
“Kyle was going to do just what was necessary but the other boy turned it up so much that we had to push it a bit to keep order,” Doern said.
Ivy Richardson of Nanaimo went up against Ashley Rouble of Fort St. John in the next bout, which saw both boxers display good skills in the ring.
After feeling each other out in the early stages of the match both stepped up their game as they connected on a number of punches, giving the crowd a show.
The next match was an all 2 Rivers affair as Alyssa and Kaitlin Flood faced off in an exhibition bout with both displaying good technique and skill in the ring, showing what 2 Rivers boxing has to offer.
2 Rivers’ Mooney took on Nick Mills of Kamloops in the next contest in a physical affair which went in favour of Mills.
Both left everything in the ring and wasted no time trying to feel each other out as they were going for the win from the beginning.
Mills would gain an early advantage in the match but as the bout came to a close, it would be Mooney with the hometown crowd behind him who would get the better of the exchanges as he threw a flurry of punches in the dying seconds of the bout.
Unfortunately it would not be enough as Mills would earn the decision. In the main event Dan Mott of 2 Rivers faced off against Faruk of New Westminster in an outstanding match.
Both ensured the crowd knew this was the main event as they left everything in the ring. In the end the match would go in favour of Faruk in a split decision. The bout was also named Bout of the Night.
Doern said he was very pleased how the night went.
“I was very happy with the night because we had a lot of out-of-town teams that came as well as their families who came to support them,” Doern said.
An event like this shows the passion and desire there is for the sport of boxing, not only in Quesnel but the province as a whole which will only help the sport grow in the future.