The Two Rivers Boxing Club took home hardware for the second weekend in a row after a successful trip down to Salmon Arm on Saturday (May 4).
Noah Kennedy won a trophy for his handiwork at the Hit 2 Fit boxing fundraiser held at the Salmon Arm Curling Club.
He fought Vernon’s Hassan Razo in a Junior C 69 kilogram match.
Though the 17-year-old boxer had an exhibition bout at last November’s Rumble 24, this was his first official fight, and he was quite pleased with the result.
“I got to watch a video of my first fight with my buddy, and with this one, I think I stepped it up a bit,” he says, adding, “It was a good experience to go down there and show up for the club.”
His cornerman, Cam Tetreault, says the match was a barn burner.
“Once that first round kicked off, holy moly!, they went at ‘er!” he exclaims.
“It was exciting!”
Kennedy says his opponent was slightly taller than him with a little bit of a reach advantage, so he had to figure out a way to work on the inside a little.
Thankfully, his coach was taking mental notes and was able to give him some good tips after the opening salvo, which Kennedy, a quick learner who adapts on the fly, appreciated greatly.
“A big advantage for me was coach Cam for sure,” he says. “He helped me figure out what to do to get under that jab.”
Once Kennedy had his opponent figured out, he was able to clinically take him apart for the duration of the match.
“Our technique was to throw more feints to combat the slip-and-throw combinations,” says Tetreault. “And it worked perfectly. He hammered him every time to the point where he dominated the fight and came out with a unanimous decision win.”
Also putting forth an impressive showing was Tetreault’s son, Caleb.
While the 10-year-old is a jokester around the gym who is always cracking a smile and getting a laugh, he was all business in a 39 kg exhibition bout against Salmon Arm’s Tobias Ryder.
A commitment to improving the most important punch in boxing proved invaluable in the scrap for Tetreault.
“I was able to land lots of double-jab crosses and a lot of body jabs too,” he says.
The crowd, appreciating the technical skills on display, cheered loudly.
His father was also quite pleased with the result.
“Caleb for the most part was able to use his angles and combinations very well, but that jab was killer and that’s what turned the tide of the fight,” he says.
“While it was a fun box, and both of them win, Caleb out-boxed him.”
Two Rivers’ other exhibition match was not quite as enjoyable for the travelling members.
Heart and soul of the club, James Mott ran into Salmon Arm’s Chris MacDonald, a very determined first-time fighter who was throwing smoke from the bell.
While Mott is as fit as any fighter in the club, at 56 years old, he was almost 20 years older than his 37-year-old foe, who seemingly did not stop punching until the fight was called by the referee in the second round.
“By the feel of his punches, he was in very good shape,” a sportsmanlike Mott points out.
“Even when I’d try to deke him, he’d still be hitting me and he’d knock me off-balance, and I think that made the ref think I was getting hurt, and, of course, you don’t argue with him.”
It was a humbling experience for Mott, who has never been finished in a fight before.
“I got out of there and for the first time, I was thinking, ‘wow, I couldn’t do anything in there.’ Even when I was throwing punches back, every two punches I landed, I was getting four back.”
While the setback hurt and his pride is a little bruised, Mott was still early to the gym on Monday evening, smacking the heavy bag before leading the class in a warmup.
He says he will enter his next fight better prepared.
“I’ve been competing against people with less experience recently, so I try not to overwhelm them, but now I know that’s a mistake.
“I can keep that overwhelming ability and just not use it, but I should train it all the time.”