Fists were flying at the Eagles Hall on Saturday night, as 11 bouts featuring local and regional talent met for fights in the ring.
The Cranbrook Eagles Boxing Club hosted the event, which featured four member boxers on the card, as Shannon Ryan, Tyler Gallinger, Leah Savorie and Colin Adams represented their hometown.
The main event featured Canadian champion Kenny Lally earning a unanimous decision over Kenny Guzman, a state champion out of the Flathead in Montana.
The fight of the night went to Jag Seehra out of Prince George, who fought Parul Ahlawat, from came in from Edmonton. Ahlawat won by a unanimous decision after the two went to war right from the opening bell in the first round.
Overall, Eagles Boxing Club coach Bill Watson chalks the night up to a big success.
“There was 22 boxers that I had on paper for matches and 22 of them showed up so I’m very, very happy,” said Watson. “And then to see the fan support that we got that night, that was just the icing on the cake.”
The Rumble in the Rockies opened with a bout between Ryan and Sophie Joern in the female novice youth category.
It was Ryan’s first fight, while Joern already had some ring experience under her belt, as well as a height and weight advantage.
But it was Ryan who ended up getting the unanimous decision after three rounds of some aggressive work that put Joern on her heels.
“At first, my tactic was get in and get to the body because she is taller, she is bigger,” said Ryan. “Then as the fight started progressing, she was just throwing left jabs and I figured I could get my right in there.”
Ryan came out strong in the first round, while Joern got the upper hand in the second round. However, Ryan finished with a solid final round to an enthusiastic crowd that was clearly on her side.
“The hometown definitely made it a lot easier,” said Ryan. “I could not have done it without all the support and everyone screaming at me during the fight.”
Tyler Gallinger, another Cranbrook boxer, was fourth up on the card, facing Connor Coldicott out of Lethbridge.
Like Ryan, Gallinger started strong in front of his hometown, taking the fight to Coldicott in the first round.
Gallinger continued to land some hits in the second round, but was quicker on his feet as Coldicott tried to get himself back into the fight.
Gallinger landed a few big punches in the third round, one of which forced the ref to do a countdown on Coldicott.
In the end, the young Cranbrook boxer earned a unanimous decision.
“Tired,” said Gallinger, on how he felt right after the bout. “My face hurts a lot. I went into the fight—my nose wasn’t fully healed, I don’t know if it was fractured or what, but definitely the pain came back.”
But it’s fair to say he had a blast, even if he was exhausted after it.
“After the first round, I thought I was going to die,” Gallinger said. “The second round was very tiring and the third round it just hit me—I hardly had anything left, but I knew it was the last round and I had to give it all, so I just went as hard as I could.”
Leah Savorie was the sixth fight of the night, and while she gave Mireio Ares Papalia a tough match, her opponent eared the decision.
Savorie had Watson and Tom White, another Eagles Boxing Club coach in the corner with her.
“We ran into a girl who was good, considering she had no previous fights,” said Watson.
“For Leah to lose to somebody like that, it’s not a big deal. We’ll take the loss — I told Tom afterwards, I said, ‘Tom, it’s not a loss, it’s a learn.'”
Cranbrook’s Colin Adams fight against Colin Pham was the runner up to the main event, and the hometown boxer scrapped his way to a win against an opponent eight years his senior.
Even though Adams got the win, he said he wasn’t completely satisfied with how he performed.
“I just couldn’t get my rhythm,” said Adams. “I didn’t really box him, I kind of brawled him, and that’s not my style.
“I felt a little out of shape for some reason and I thought I could’ve done better, but I got the W [win] and that’s all that counts.”
Next Eagles boxing action is a sub-novice event at the end of October up in Edmonton, and Watson is hoping to take Ryan and Gallinger to represent the club.
Rumble in the Rockies results
Shannon Ryan def. Sophie Joern
Brendon Donald def. Austin Boyes
AJ Boparie def. Dakota Belcourt
Tyler Gallinger def. Connor Coldicott
Austin Grunder def. Steve Meikel
Mireio Ares Papalia def. Leah Savorie
Anthony Haines def. Farhad Zafari
Mike Poole def. Dalton Redcrow
Parul Ahlawat def. Jag Seehra
Colin Adams def. Colin Pham
Kenny Lally def. Kenny Guzman