The boxers are primed to start punching, so all that’s needed now is for fight fans to fill Frank Crane Arena.
The Rumble at the Rink boxing card will be held May 23 in Nanaimo, featuring four professional bouts and four amateur bouts.
Promoter Terry Strawson of Gloved Up Promotions said he and his business partner Andrew Wilde are anticipating a great night.
“I’ve put together some good fights, so we’re just going to go and enjoy ourselves and let the cards lie how they want to lie,” he said.
The night’s special attraction is an historic bout featuring Nanaimo’s Gordy Racette. The 63-year-old, who hasn’t fought in 15 years, anticipates becoming only the third pro boxer to fight in five different decades and the first Canadian to accomplish the feat.
“He’s been thinking about this for quite some time now and it’s been a thought of his and a dream of his,” Strawson said.
Racette has passed all his medicals and according to the promoter, is talking about trying for a knockout. Racette (39-6) is matched up against 42-year-old Sandy Pembroke of Kelowna.
The main event of the card is a championship bout, as Qualicum Beach’s Aubrey (Bam Bam) Morrow (7-1-1) will face Saskatoon’s Paul Bzdel (5-6-1) for the vacant Canadian Professional Boxing Council Western Canadian middleweight title.
The promoter said Morrow is a nice guy outside the ring, but once he steps between the ropes, he has a vicious alter-ego.
“If you watch him one time, I believe you become a fan,” Strawson said. “He’s very explosive … He’s looking to end fights early.”
The night’s other title fight pits Langley’s Alisah McPhee against Peggy Maerz of Salmon Arm for the CPBC Western Canadian women’s super flyweight championship.
The other pro bout on the card sees Dashon Johnson of Escondito, Calif. take on Chris Aucoin of St. Williams, Ont.
Strawson said boxing can appeal to anyone.
“There’s something raw within us all that likes that fight,” he said. “We’ve been fighting for hundreds of years, whether we like it or not, it’s in us.”
FIGHT FACTS … The first fight starts at 6:30 p.m. on May 23 at Frank Crane Arena and doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20, or $60 for floor seats and $100 for ringside. For tickets, please visit www.gloved-up.com or call 250-616-1070.