George Vourtsis

George Vourtsis

Walker wins boxing title in his hometown

NANAIMO – Ross Walker won the WBC B.C. amateur middleweight championship Saturday, defeating Gibsons’ George Vourtsis via decision.

Now, if Ross Walker opens a boxing gym for youths, like he hopes, he can tell them about that time when he fought for the title in his hometown, and won, and was mobbed by friends and fans chanting his name.

Walker won the WBC B.C. amateur middleweight championship Saturday night, defeating Gibsons’ George Vourtsis by unanimous decision in the main event of the Quest for Glory card at Nanaimo’s Malaspina Theatre.

“I’m just so lucky to have it all culminate like this,” said Walker, who was competing in his farewell fight before moving to La Loche, Sask., this month.

He credited his coach Don Arnott of Tomari Martial Arts for the winning strategy.

“I just had to execute, I just had to train, I just had to be in shape,” Walker said. “He did everything for me … Credit to him and everyone I spar with.”

Walker came out strong and was the clear winner of the first two rounds, which was significant.

“The foundation of a fight is the first and second round,” Walker said. “I had to be able to establish my jab, establish dominance, establish that I’m the faster fighter.”

The next two rounds were closer, but Walker’s corner was confident he had the lead going into the fifth and final round, so he tried to continue to execute without being overly risky.

It was an indescribable feeling to have his hand raised as champion, and after that, he made a beeline for his crew of supporters waiting in the front row of the theatre.

“I just wanted to get in there with them,” he said. “I couldn’t believe what I heard when I came out there, the noise when I came to the stairs. It was crazy. I didn’t expect that. The best people in the world here tonight. I don’t deserve this, but it’s great to feel.”

He was grateful, too, to his opponent for making the fight happen.

“George coming over from the Sunshine Coast to come into my barn, that takes balls, good on him,” Walker said.

The main event capped a generally successful night for local fighters. Josh Shepherd of Tomari won a unanimous decision over Sechelt’s Marcus Davis in a semi-main event. Shepherd hadn’t fought in years, but looked comfortable, bringing a well-rounded game. Dan Baxter of Tomari beat Esquimalt’s Danny Proulz, also by unanimous decision. Jeff Low of Tomari used his accurate jab to frustrate, fend off and win a unanimous decision over Victoria’s Max Cullen. Dylan Murphy of Tomari won via split decision against Parksville’s Nicholas Tilkin.

Tomari’s Quinn Day bloodied his opponent badly, but lost a unanimous decision to Victoria’s Danilo Miljevic, and Tomari’s Faris Al Bukhari got knocked down a couple times but made things interesting en route to a unanimous-decision loss to Victoria’s Aaron Wicks. Another Tomari fighter, Taylor Nicks, was TKO’d by White Rock’s Emily Walker. Also winning by TKO was Richmond’s Georgia Skopetlitis, who was too much for Angela Cantarutti of Gibsons.

In a coach-versus-coach grudge match, Brian Grant of Eastside Boxing was dominant in a unanimous decision over the Sunshine Coast’s Randy Hollett.

There were also two sparring exhibitions on the card with no official winners. Eli Wyse, from Nanaimo but fighting out of Parksville’s Le Stage Boxing, overwhelmed his opponent, and the other exhibition was a women’s bout between Tomari’s Jessica Simms and Vancouver’s Anna Marie McKinnon.

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