Two Rivers Boxing Club sent three brave fighters down to Williams Lake last Saturday (June 15) to compete at Teofista 34 at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.
Connor Clancy won a unanimous decision, Evan Lee lost a close fight but won fight of the night, and James “Old Man” Mott took part in an exhibition bout.
Clancy faced off against Williams Lake’s Dawson Nohr Stangoe in a 90-pound Junior A contest.
“Connor did excellent,” says Two Rivers head coach, Wally Doern. “He’s learning how to get in there, throw a good combination and get out.”
It was Clancy’s second fight after losing by stoppage at Rumble 26 in his home gym. Doern says a lot has changed since then.
“There was a 100- per-cent improvement from his last match. You wouldn’t even know he was the same boxer.
“He’s really learned how to use his jabs, and his straight right and was getting a lot of points that way. His movement was good as well.”
Clancy was delighted to get the win.
“It feels good to know that my training has paid off and working hard has gone well.”
Anyone who stops into Two Rivers on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday is guaranteed to see Clancy and his three siblings putting in maximum effort into improving themselves.
As it was his second time fighting in front of a crowd, Clancy was able to survey the situation and make some adjustments to ensure a victory.
“I noticed that he wasn’t jabbing a lot and he was very reactive when I faked,” he says, “So I tried to go in with a couple fakes and get in there and throw a couple combos.”
He knows there is still room for improvement before his next match. The young fighter says he plans on getting his cardio up, as he was feeling pretty exhausted near the end of the last round.
“I’m going to start running around my block at home,” he says.
While Evan Lee did not get his hand raised on Saturday night, he did earn the respect of everyone in the crowd.
He fought Williams Lake’s Cody Hurren for the second time in a Junior B 160-pound match. The pair faced off previously in a rough-and-tumble exhibition bout at Rumble 26 and barely missed a beat in the rematch.
“It was quite a match, ” says Doern. “Fight of the night explains it all.”
He says the shorter Hurren used a clever strategy against Lee, forcing him up against the ropes and working him from the inside.
“Evan was trying to cover up and fight back, which is what you do, but long arms in-close against short arms in-close, the short arms are going to win, and that’s basically what happened.”
Lee was able to turn the tide around in the last round of the fight and almost earned a stoppage, but the tough Hurren, who suffered a broken nose, was able to hold out just long enough to get the decision.
“I just tried to dance a little more and was able to land more flush shots,” Lee says of his late surge.
The determined scrapper has certainly learned a lesson he plans on remembering for his next bout.
“Don’t shell up when you’re getting swarmed,” he says.
James Mott opened up the card in an exhibition match against Williams Lake’s Kevin Petryshen.
According to Doern, Mott’s fight card name should now be James “Gentleman” Mott.
“He definitely had the edge in the exhibition and he conducted himself in a very sportsmanlike way,” says Doern. “He even encouraged the other fella to hit him.
“Williams Lake had to appreciate that because they knew James had a big edge on this fella. He was better everywhere.”
Coach Doern talks highly of the relationship between the Williams Lake Boxing Club and Two Rivers.
“Coach Gary [McLellan] and I have always been supportive of each other,” he says. ” I take my boxers down to his shows and he brings his up to mine, and we’ve always had a good repertoire between us.
“We’re both very honest about our boxers. We don’t try to get the edge on each other and are very up front.
“It makes for good matches, and it makes for a good friendship.”