While many of us were relaxing by a lake, sitting around a fire or criticizing the Game of Thrones series finale with friends on Victoria Day weekend, Two Rivers Boxing Club’s Britynn “Hurricane” Carter was fighting three of the top scrappers in her class.
She travelled down to Sooke to throw some hands at the second annual West Coast Wonder Women boxing event, which is one of only five all-female international boxing cards in the world.
Carter was one of 74 fighters taking part in the three-day event, which saw pugilists travel from as far away as Boston, Halifax, San Francisco, Indiana and everywhere in between travel to Vancouver Island.
“It’s really quite an amazing event,” says Carter. “I met so many different strong, inspiring women. Everyone had a different style, and the boxing was amazing.”
While it was not a perfect event for Hurricane, she fared quite well against strong competition and has some excellent takeaways from the weekend.
Her first fight was Friday (May 17) against Sadie Allen, who was fighting out of Citadel Boxing in Halifax.
“Britynn showcased exactly who she is and how talented she is and she won that match unanimously,” says Ellen Connor, the head coach at Sooke Boxing Club and organizer of the event.
Connor has a daughter close in age and skill level to Carter so will often accompany and corner her for her fights.
The Quesnel fighter says she was able to get under most of her opponent’s punches and landed a lot of body hooks and straights.
“It was quite an easy match,” she says. “But I got another win in my book and more experience with a new style.”
She was back at it again in an exhibition match against Hailey Cancel from Cancel Boxing in Boston on Saturday night.
Her foe was one of the top-ranked boxers in the United States and a southpaw (left-hander) to boot. Carter weighed a little more than was allowable for a sanctioned match, so it did not count towards their records, but both fighters still put on a display for the crowd.
“The girl is a U.S. champion, and Britt held her own, which was really impressive,” says Connor.
Carter says she was very nervous leading up to the bout, as her previous loss was to a left-hander, but once she got busy, any apprehension melted away.
“Here I spar, Jacob [Wight] and Camille [Logan] and I don’t even think about them being southpaw, but once I get somewhere else and even spar a southpaw, I start thinking I have to get my foot to the other side, and I get in my own head.
“But [for this match] I was just like, ‘Let’s fight! Let’s go!”
She adds she felt really comfortable in the match and hopes to carry on that feeling against future left-handed opponents.
Carter’s last match was against Sadie Allen’s teammate from Citadel Boxing in Halifax, Sierra Eshouzadeh.
Unfortunately, she was unable to replicate her previous success and lost for the first time in well over a year.
“It didn’t go my way, but it was an amazing learning experience,” says Carter.
“I know what I did wrong, and there’s no excuse for not winning if we rematch.”
Hurricane says her opponent used a heavy clinch game to rough house her and even threw her across the ring at one point.
“I got frustrated and I wasn’t boxing anymore,” she says.
“But I’m going to work on it. If I would have won, I would have come back to the gym and kept training the way I was and do the exact same thing instead of learning how to get over this bump and actually box properly.”
Now the eager young fighter is gunning to right the wrong.
“I’ll run into her sometime, and I can’t wait for that time.”
Her corner person thinks the adversity is going to be a good thing.
“As much as she was upset by the loss, I wasn’t. Not at all,” says Connor.
“Ordinarily, I don’t know what to tell [Two Rivers coach] Wally [Doern] what to work on with Britt because she’s been winning. So now, it’s not a loss, it’s a learn. We can go back to the drawing board and figure out how to shore up the gaps. “
All in all, the Sooke boxing coach was pleased with Carter’s performance over the weekend.
“I’m 100 per cent OK with the three bouts being a win, an exhibition and a loss. It couldn’t have been a better weekend for her.
“Britynn, at 13 years old, already knows what it’s like to fight three days in a row, which is standard for an international boxing contest.
“So that experience is gold.”
Although no fights are on the horizon, Carter has plans to move to Sooke for the summer to train more frequently with Connor and continue improving her skill set.