Athletes from Nanaimo took home multiple medals from the 2019 Super Channel Championships hosted by Boxing Canada in Langford, April 23-27.
Jérôme Leroyer and Noah Croasdale from Force Boxing club are new Canadian Boxing Champions. Krishan Lysenko is the silver medallist in her division and Bruno Sanderson won bronze. Lysenko was the only senior boxer to medal while the rest are juniors. Croasdale and Sanderson were new to the tournament this year while Leroyer and Lysenko both competed last year.
“I was ecstatic,” coach Bob Pegues said. “To have my four do so well and lead the way was just great.”
The boxers fight an average of 10 bouts a year. Pegues has coached Lysenko for four years, and she has had 41 fights. He has coached Leroyer for three years, and he has had 35 fights. He has coached both Sanderson and Croasdale for two-years; Sanderson has had 15 fights, and Croasdale has eight fights undefeated. Each of the boxers has a favourable win rate. The boxers often have to travel for fights, and spend a lot of time training, watching film, and preparing for their next match.
“My priority is for the boxers to prevail and to make it to the international level such as the Pan-American Games, the Commonwealth Games,” Pegues said. “As juniors in their developmental years they need to have a lot of matches and a lot of success to boost their confidence.”
Pegues believes that each of the boxers have the potential to compete not only in Pan-American Games and the Commonwealth Games, but the Olympics as well.
“If I thought they weren’t I probably wouldn’t still be in the game truthfully,” he said.
Pegues is no stranger to high-level competition. When he was in Prince George, Pegues coached Kenny Lally, who was ranked 18th in the world as an amateur at the the time. Pegues was also a national team coach and travelled to 11 countries with Lally. Pegues grew up boxing in Nanaimo, and became a coach when his kids took an interest in the sport. By the time he left his gym in Prince George, Pegues was training 40 young boxers to compete in high-level competition. Since coming to Nanaimo four years ago, Pegues has had a significant impact in the boxing community, with several of his athletes winning medals.
Force Boxing is in the midst of relocating their gym to downtown Nanaimo. The club dropped everything to prepare for the championships, but now their focus is back on opening the new gym, expected to happen in July. Pegues said the club is looking to recruit boxers around the 13-15 age range to form a new group of talent.
“Boxing is back in Nanaimo in a big way. I’m looking forward to more Canadian champions.”