More Cranbrook boxers are gearing up for the upcoming B.C. Golden Gloves tournament his weekend, as Gage Duthie and his brother, Ducan, will be stepping into the ring to represent the Eagles Boxing Club.
Also hoping to get some action inside the ropes is Dylan Clark, a young 12-year-old athlete who already has a couple bouts under his belt.
The B.C. Golden Gloves is one of the biggest boxing events in the province, and Eagles Boxing Club coach Bill Watson is hoping to draw 75 entrants from across Western Canada when the event kicks off on Saturday at the Cranbrook Curling Centre.
The youngest competitive fighter of the club, Dylan Clark, is itching to get into the ring in front of a hometown crowd, even though he is a little nervous.
“I’ve had a couple friends and a teacher say they’d come watch if I ever fight here,” said Clark. “I’m nervous, but I can’t wait to step into the ring.”
It won’t be a new experience for the 12-year-old boxer, as he already has three bouts under his belt.
Clark has been boxing for less than a year, and originally got involved with the club as a way to cross-train for rep hockey, before upgrading to the competitive side of the sport.
“I like to be competitive and it’s an aggressive sport,” Clark said.
He’s picked up a few things over his two wins and one loss that makes up his fledgling boxing career.
“You learn keeping your hands up and defending yourself,” Clark said. “Hit and don’t be hit.”
Watson is excited about his young charge, and knew as soon as Clark came through the doors that he could make an impact in the ring.
“Dylan is an excellent example of a prospect. He’s the type of kid—it’s like putting a quarter in one pocket and pulling a dollar out of the other,” said Watson.
“He’s just a top notch prospect and he’s starting at the right age where by the time he’s able to compete for a national title, he’s going to have 15 or 20 fights under his belt, which is what he’s going to need if he goes back east against those boxers out of Quebec and Ontario.”
Watson’s most experienced boxer, Gage Duthie, is hoping to get more than just one bout during the weekend tournament. Duthie already has eight fights and will soon be competing in the open category.
“He’s had eight bouts and he’s getting close to being an open boxer, which is 11 fights,” said Watson. “Once you’ve had your tenth bout, that next fight, you’re an open boxer, which means he could be boxing anybody with any number of fights.
“…Like the rest of these boxers, he needs some good competition to improve and the Golden Gloves, it’s a pretty popular division, that 132- pound, 60 kilo division, so hopefully we can get him a couple of fights and then after that, we’ll just keep preparing for provincials at the end of May.”
Duthie said he’s been lined up against a boxer out of Saskatchewan who is the same age and in the same weight class. He’s eager to get into the ring in his hometown after a fight fell through last fall at the Rumble in the Rockies.
No matter who he’s facing, Duthie has a plan for approaching the bout.
“Take the centre. Keep him on the side ropes,” Duthie said. “Don’t waste all my energy on the first round—save it up for the third round and finish strong in the third round.”