Shawn Archer took the main-event fight last weekend, despite very short notice and being considerably underweight for the matchup against provincial champion Eli Wyse, as a favour to his home gym owner Wally Doern of 2 Rivers Boxing Club.
“Wally called me and told me he had a fight but that it’s three weight classes above me and short notice. To save the card and to do Wally a favour, I said sure I’d take it,” Archer said of the Dec. 14 fight. “It’s funny, he [Wyse] cut for two weeks to make 165, and I had to weigh in with my clothes, my boots and all my gear on to make just under 160.”
Despite being underweight and having to fight on the same day he flew into Nanaimo where the event was scheduled, Archer held his own in the ring, going the full three rounds a forcing a split decision.
“It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and there was no pressure, no stress because of the short notice and my opponent was way out of my league,” said Archer. “They payed for my trip, and in boxing, you don’t get a free trip to a hometown fight and end up winning a split decision fight, so I kind of knew unless I knocked him out or stopped the fight that I wasn’t walking away with a win.”
Doern says he is proud of how Archer handled himself in the short-notice fight and is impressed with the strength of his character, stating, “it takes a little grit to do something like that, especially knowing that you are in with the provincial champion!”
Part of the reason Archer was able to stand his ground against a bigger fighter in a three-round match was the fact that he has been training for his professional boxing debut, a fight he expects to go four to six rounds. Archer has been training in his home gym, 2 Rivers Boxing Club in Quesnel, as well as with Canadian professional boxer Stuart McLellan, who fights out of Williams Lake.
Archer’s professional debut will take place in Mexico in the new year on Jan. 18, and he hopes to add three more professional fights in 2020. The boxer has had a hard time finding opponents on the professional circuit who want to fight him due to his extensive amateur career.
“I’ve had five fights lined up, and all five guys have backed out because I’ve got too much amateur experience,” said Archer. “Pro boxing is like your permanent record; you cant really mess around, so once they found out about all my amateur experience — I’ve been boxing for 22 years — they all backed out. So that why I’ve got to go down to Mexico for my first one.”
Archer says taking the short-notice fight has put his training for his professional debut a week or two behind schedule but that he will “just have to step up” his training and will no doubt be ready to rumble in the new year.