Nanaimo Boxing Club athletes threw a flurry of punches, gained some in-ring experience, and returned home as champs.
The club had a contingent of pugilists at Boxing B.C.’s Bronze Gloves tournament in Vernon last weekend.
Alex Wisniewski, Alec Irvine and Ricky Orr all punched their way through their respective divisions to earn their distinctions as Bronze Gloves champions.
Wisniewski dominated all three rounds of his bout against a Salmon Arm opponent, said Barry Creswell, Nanaimo Boxing Club coach. He said the Nanaimo veteran really started taking over in the second and third rounds, using his reach advantage to great effect.
“He was finding his mark all the time,” said Creswell. “And [his opponent] didn’t have the conditioning or the defence to stop it.”
Orr, meanwhile, entered Bronze Gloves despite nursing a leg injury, and the coach said it turned out to be a good gamble.
Orr managed to come back and win his final bout even though his North Vancouver opponent clearly out-pointed Orr in the first round.
“Ricky kept working things out and trying different combinations, trying different things and listening to me and he started winning, started getting his shots in,” said Creswell.
Nanaimo’s other winner, Irvine, had a tough draw in his final, taking on a huge heavyweight from Alberta. The Nanaimo fighter survived the first round, though, to give himself a chance to turn the bout in his favour.
“The guy tried to take him out in the first round but the guy started getting tired after all that,” said the coach. “In the third round Alec hit him at will; the guy was too tired and he out-pointed the guy big.”
Creswell said he thinks the sport is growing, enabling more opportunities for his athletes to get fights. Whereas in the past his boxers might only have one other opponent in B.C. with comparable age, weight and experience, now there might be two or three.
And with provincials coming up in May, these Bronze Gloves wins position the Nanaimo fighters well.
“Those are really good wins,” said Creswell. “Just the fact that they realize they can compete and they’re ready to compete at this level.”