Nanaimo Boxing Club fighters were tough enough to win provincial championships.
Jordan Van Buskirk, Alec Irvine and Justis MacKay-Topley won their divisions at Boxing B.C. provincials this past weekend in Victoria.
Van Buskirk had to win bouts Saturday and Sunday to claim the title in his senior novice middleweight class.
He wasn’t satisfied with his first fight, in which he tired halfway through and got sloppy. Still, he did enough to reach the final, which went a lot better. Fighting for a title, he said he tried not to let any emotion and anxiety get to him.
“That was the big obstacle, was basically just to stay cool, calm and collected the whole three rounds, win or lose,” Van Buskirk said.
He won, beating an opponent from Mission whom he’d wanted to box for some time.
“He’s pretty good. So I kind of feel like I’m closer now,” Van Buskirk said. “The hard work and the training’s paid off.”
Irvine, too, had put in the work leading up to provincials, giving him an edge in his senior novice heavyweight final against a Kelowna fighter.
“He wasn’t very aggressive…” Irvine said. “I just dictated the pace the whole time, made it my fight. I stayed aggressive and just pretty much tried to back him up the whole time.”
Irvine’s success at provincials, he said, only provides more inspiration.
“It just makes me want to train harder now,” he said.
MacKay-Topley, fighting in the junior open class, was matched up in his final against a Salmon Arm opponent whom he’d never faced before.
“He was a tall guy so it was kind of hard to get in range, but after I got in range and found my distance then it was easy to pull out the combinations,” said MacKay-Topley.
He said the club’s efforts at provincials were a team builder.
“It makes us come together stronger as a club…” MacKay-Topley said. “It kind of sends a message, too, to the other clubs.”