Nanaimo Boxing Club juniors Taylor Fair, left to right, Tyson Moutray, Austin Graham, Jacob Fair, Aldo Lopez, Anya Caldera, Garrett Tomkins and Nate Mjolsness are some of the athletes who will fight at the Ringside Rescue fundraiser event Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Departure Bay Activity Centre. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo boxers will look to land punches for Ringside Rescue program

Nanaimo Boxing Club holding a fundraiser card Saturday, Nov. 23, at Departure Bay Activity Centre

Nanaimo boxers will step into the ring so that more young people in the community can do the same.

The Nanaimo Boxing Club is holding a Ringside Rescue card this Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Departure Bay Activity Centre.

One of the purposes of the event is to raise money for the club’s Ringside Rescue program. Coach Barry Creswell said Ringside Rescue helps young people, particularly underprivileged or at-risk youths, participate in the sport.

Aside from the fundraising aspect, the boxers are looking forward to the fights. About 15 Nanaimo Boxing Club athletes will be participating, taking on each other as well as opponents from the Island and the Lower Mainland. There will be approximately 12-15 bouts featuring boxers of all ages, including adults.

One anticipated matchup will see two Nanaimo Boxing Club sparring partners fight for real for the first time – 13-year-old Jacob Fair versus 12-year-old Garrett Tomkins.

Fair said the two have fun sparring each other, and Tomkins said they’re pretty well-matched.

“He’s a bit heavier and taller than me, but I think I can still beat him,” Tomkins said.

Tomkins said his strategy will be to block and dodge Fair’s punches and try to land some heavy hits. He said Fair jabs well and “if he gets me in the nose, it can hurt.”

Fair said Tomkins is a “really good opponent” who is “super fast” at getting out of the way of punches, so the key will be to fight smart.

“Just concentration and be able to keep my head in the game,” Fair said.

He said it will be nerve-racking to step into the ring for a real fight and Tomkins agreed it will be a different feeling having the spotlight of the crowd all watching one bout at a time.

“I think it’s going to be fun,” Tomkins said. “I think it’s going to be a good experience.”

Ringside Rescue is Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. at the Departure Bay Activity Centre on Wingrove Street, with doors opening at 5 p.m. Admission is $20, or $10 for children.

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