Boxers from across B.C. gave Quesnel a weekend to remember June 10 – 11 at the Golden Gloves provincial amateur championship, displaying their skills in front of a sold out crowd. Clubs came from Cranbrook, Sooke, Nanaimo, Salmon Arm, North Vancouver, Kelowna, Nelson, Prince George, Vancouver and Quesnel.
2 Rivers Boxing Club had 10 competitors – Emmett Emblau, Olin Lee, Curtis Lobsinger, Evan Peever, Nick Kwiakowski, Heera Panasar, Dayton Swaan, Shawn Archer, Kyle Black and James Mott. The first bout of the tournament saw an initiation match between Jill Doucett of Sooke and Jordyn Tremblay of Nanaimo with both boxers giving everything they had in a close contest.
The second initiation match saw Quesnel’s Emblau go up against Carson Campbell of Sooke in an entertaining contest. Emblau, although giving up a decisive height advantage, did not let it deter him as he showed good head and body movement keeping Campbell off balance throughout the contest. In exhibition action, 2 Rivers’ Kwaikowski and Panasar did battle, displaying their skills in the ring.
Kwaikowski used his reach to his advantage in the match, but it would not throw Panasar off his game as he kept the match close. Kwaikowski did not hesitate in the third round as he came out firing, delivering a straight punch to Panasar.
It would not faze Panasar though as he rebounded, using his quickness to stay away from Kwaikowski’s reach, in a good showing of what 2 Rivers’ boxers have to offer. Head coach Wally Doern said both boxers performed well in the bout.
“Nick’s got a wonderful jab, a good straight right, very good foot work and knows how to time his jab to score,” Doern said.
“Heera did very well also and it was a spirited contest between the two.”
Emma Morrison-Turley of Salmon Arm faced off against Dakota Plensky of Nanaimo in the next contest with Morrison-Turley getting the decision in a close match.
Morrison-Turley controlled the fight utilizing a number of combination punches, keeping Plensky off balance in the first two rounds. Knowing she needed to have a good round to get back in the fight, Plensky came out firing in the third with a flurry of shots, but it was not enough as Morrison-Turley took the win.
In exhibition action, Jeff Emmett of Nelson defeated Josh Donato of Vancouver in a unanimous decision.
Both boxers displayed different styles with Emmett supplying the power and Donato the speed, in a thrilling contest.
The next match saw Nathan Royes of North Vancouver and Joe Steward of Kelowna face off in an exhibition bout, entertaining the crowd with their skills and technique.
Annie Mossman of North Vancouver defeated Kris Davies of Nanaimo in the next contest with both displaying good punch combinations, but Mossman would sustain her attack throughout the match and rack up the points, which led to a decision in her favour.
Quesnel’s Lobsinger took to the ring in the next contest against Bhodi Cartland of Nelson and did not disappoint, as he won with a technical knock out in the first round, bringing the crowd to its feet. Lobsinger was happy with the decision and contributed all his success to the hard work he put in, leading up to the tournament.
“Now I have my first Golden Gloves championship under my belt and it feels really good to see all the work pay off,” Lobsinger said.
Although, it was a first round stoppage he said his opponent was a challenge.
“I was hit more from him than any other opponent I have faced,” Lobsinger said.
“It was a good scrap and both of us were trading blows. He connected with me several times, but in boxing all you need is one good shot to stop the fight.”
Lobsinger said he focused on his cardio leading up to the bout.
“My fights haven’t lasted too long and I was thinking this one would, so I was training on that but it was over in the first round,” Lobsinger said.
He adds he likes to bring the fight to his opponent.
“I’m an aggressive fighter so I’m always pushing it,” Lobsinger said.
“I feel both of us had the same technique, but it just ended in my favour,” Lobsinger said.
Doern said Lobsinger’s conditioning and strength is a big asset for him.
“Curtis has had three matches and nobody has seen the third round against him,” Doern said.
“He is physically strong and has a George Foreman type punch.”
Jonathan Hannah of North Vancouver took home the win in his bout against Dominic Barbosa in a unanimous decision.
Both boxers displayed good skills, but Hannah would get the advantage and would not let up, as he went on to take the win. 2 Rivers’ Peever was on the wrong end of the decision in his bout against Eldred Gomez of Vancouver in a close contest.
Peever displayed good punch combinations after falling behind early and made it tough for the judges, but unfortunately the decision went in Gomez’s favour.
The main event of the first night saw Shawn Archer of 2 Rivers go up against Randall Graham of Prince George, which went in favour of Graham in a split decision.
The match was also named bout of the night for the first night of action at the championship.
The second night of the tournament was much of the same, supplying hard hitting action for the crowd.
Kyle Black of 2 Rivers kicked it off against Barbosa in an exhibition contest with both displaying good skills.
Barbosa used a number of good head and body punch combinations keeping Black off balance to begin the bout.
Knowing he was down, Black came on in the latter part of the match delivering a flurry of shots, as both entertained the crowd. The next bout saw 2 Rivers’ James Mott face off against Emmett of Nelson in a spirited contest with both boxers showing good movement and punch combinations. The next contest saw Graham take the win against Gomez in a close contest.
The match was even through two rounds and as they entered the third, both boxers knew they had to give everything they had to come out on top.
In the end Graham would get the decision and go home with the victory. Leo Samarelli of Vancouver went up against Steward in the next contest with both boxers beginning the match slowly.
The pace would pick up in the second round as Samarelli would utilize good movement and picked his spots as he kept Steward off balance in an entertaining bout. The next contest saw Swaan of 2 Rivers face off against Jag Seehra of Prince George in an exhibition contest, which displayed good skill from both boxers. Seehra, who is a national medalist showed good speed in the ring, while Swaan brought the power game in a spirited contest.
After losing his previous decision, Archer was back in the ring as he went up against Robert Cousins of Vancouver, which ended in a loss. The bout did not start in Archer’s favour, as he was knocked down in the first round, but showed resilience getting back up.
As the second began he came out delivering big shots knowing he needed to get back in the match, but it wouldn’t be enough as the decision went to Cousins.
The final match of the night saw Lee of 2 Rivers take on Avi Singh of Vancouver with Lee getting the split decision.
This was the third match between the two with Lee taking the first and Singh the second. Both boxers left no doubt it was the main event as they came out throwing big shots, entertaining the crowd.
Doern said Lee performed very well in the match.
“With this match we decided to hold back, move around and wait for Avi to attack,” Doern said.
“Olin is the stronger puncher so when Avi launched his attack we were ready for it and I knew Olin could outscore him at close range.”
Archer and Cousins’ match was named bout of the night and Campbell and Emblau were named the Logan Reeve award winners for the best young boxers at the tournament.
Graham was also named the outstanding boxer.
Before the start of the Golden Gloves tournament there was three 10 counts for Bill Franklin and Boyd Bain, two former coaches and Muhammed Ali for their contributions to boxing.
Doern said losing Ali is tough because of what he meant to everybody.
“I feel the boxing world is saddened by his passing, but we were very lucky to have somebody like Ali come a long and spur interest in the sport,” Doern said.
He added it was the humanitarian part of Ali that made him truly special.
“I don’t know if a lot of us remember the times and the prejudice there was in the 1960s when Ali was champion. He definitely helped change the world for the better. He made people aware of what they were doing wasn’t right and to have it come from the heavyweight champion of the world, people noticed and they listened. Some didn’t agree at the time but after they had a few years to think about it everybody agreed.”