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Outside of the box - unusual bouts at 2 Rivers in Quesnel

Can’t fight the feelin’ of boxing fever

There was a main event, but the undercard was full of highlights for the boxers at Rumble 31, the latest extravaganza at 2 Rivers Boxing Club.

Promoter and head coach Wally Doern put on a set of 12 fights that had everything a boxing fan could ask for. There were children venturing into the ring for the first kid bouts of their lives, there was an elder boxer up against a young man, there was a young man up against a young woman, there were all-female tilts, there were all-male tilts, absolute beginners and powerful veterans, and there was a packed house roaring for everyone.

The big fight of the night was in the 185-pound Youth category, with Quesnel’s Evan “Quiet Riot” Lee up against Tim Teichroeb boxing out of the Wolves Den Boxing Club in Prince George. In the end, the hometown fighter won a split decision.

“It felt like I could have done better: my cardio, my defensive responsibilities, basically keeping my hands up,” said Lee after the fight, replaying the three two-minute rounds in his head. Due to the COVID shutdowns, this was his first official tilt in three years.

“I felt excited. It was nice to fight someone who looked like they could hit pretty hard,” he said, and indeed it was, at times, a slug-fest. “He put up a really good fight. He wasn’t afraid to trade punches; that was pretty cool.”

For their efforts, they were award the Fight Of The Night honours.

The main event of the evening, when the event was first announced, would have been Team BC’s Robyn Grant, a Quesnel fighter now living in Prince George but still registered with Doern at the 2 Rivers Boxing Club (2RBC) team. With little time to adjust, her opponent had to withdraw ahead of the event, so Grant was left without an opponent until a novel idea came up. How about fighting a male? It wouldn’t be scored an official fight, but the fans would get to see a favourite and both boxers would get in a solid battle for development purposes. Dante Audet of 2 Rivers was game. Grant has a few chronological years on him, he has some raw power on her, so there were trade-offs on paper that turned into a trade-off of blows that had the crowd roaring. Neither fighter gave it their all, as it was an exhibition match, but they fought an energetic, tactical matchup.

“It was a good show, good to watch,” said Melissa O’Flynn, who helped in Grant’s corner during the fight and had an exhibition bout of her own on the Rumble 31 card. O’Flynn is a transplanted Quesnelian now a Pregonian boxing at Wolves Den, but always happy to come back to the hometown. A few years ago, O’Flynn and Grant earned Fight Of The Night honours when they went at it. This time it was a ginger grinder as O’Flynn took on up-and-coming phenom Britynn “Hurricane” Carter for an all-redhead mentorship match that gave the crowd plenty of applause, as the two close friends had to jab and bomb at each other for three rounds.

There were four other fights that were not officially scored by the judges. Lily Scholpp went up against Tamena Mott, in the Junior-A 125-pound division, both from 2RBC.

In the Junior-B 110-pound category, Kai Hanic fought fellow 2RBC boxer Jason Silva.

Carter Johnson of Prince George’s Inner City Boxing Club took on Brayan Cassilas of Revelstoke.

In one of the most interesting spectacles of the night, James “Old Fox” Mott, a 2RBC coach who has crossed into his 60s, took on Williams Lake’s Duncan McLellan who was about half his age. Their sparring match was a demonstration of how boxing’s fundamentals last throughout life, and the passion to get in the ring transcends all ages.

The fights that required judges, as well as referees (Peggy Maerz of Salmon Arm and John Kovak of Horsefly wore the bow tie for these fights, and shared ring duty) included Wolves Den fighter Brandon Kather winning a split decision over Revelstoke’s Ross McCallum in the Senior 160-pound division, and split decisions for Junior fighters Brogan Sowers of Wolves Den over Kashtin Charlie of Burns Lake; Ryan Saunders of Wolves Den over 2RBC fighter Karter Mott; and stopped fights when 2RBC rising star Brooklyn Olson, 14, won over Adisha Guitard of Wolves Den and 2RBC’s Taylor Rogina, the youngest fighter to step into the ring that night at nine years old, defeating Morgan Saunders of Wolves Den.

Doern said each time an event like this is staged, there’s a long and stressful road to get to the moment the doors open, but then “once the first bell rings you know that it is going to be okay, a great sense of relief, always feel happy to have a good show and hope all the athletes participating will have a safe and good night.”

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