The Cranbrook Eagles Boxing Club is fielding local athletes at an upcoming fight at the Eagles Hall this coming Saturday evening.
Colin Adams, Tyler Gallinger, Ryan Lindsay, Shannon Ryan and Gage Duthie will represent the local club in the ring, as head coach Bill Watson has roughly 11 bouts set up.
The headlining event will be Kenny Lally, a three-time Canadian champion, against Kenny Guzman, a state champion out of Montana.
Tyler Gallinger is in his second year of boxing after joining the gym last year along with a friend.
Saturday night will be his first-ever fight.
“I’m feeling a bit nervous,” Gallinger said. “I’m pretty excited about it though. I thought about fighting when I started this year.
“Last year, I boxed for almost the entire year but I was out for a couple of months because of [non-boxing related] injuries.”
Gallinger, 16, worked a lot on his technique last year, and sparred a bit with the competitive boxers, which caught Watson’s eye.
“He did some sparring with the competitive boxers and showed some skills that he could compete and this year we’ve just taken him up a notch to that next level,” said Watson.
Gallinger knew he eventually wanted to step into the ring and knew that Watson would eventually ask him try a competitive bout.
“I knew he was ready, and he knew I was going to ask him,” said Watson. “We both felt comfortable with it and when I see a kid like that, that has that potential, I ask him.”
Gallinger will be challenging a more experienced boxer out of Edmonton, but that isn’t fazing the young fighter.
“I’ve definitely improved since I started, that’s for sure,” Gallinger said. “Built quite a bit of muscle, being here too. I’m not the fastest, but I know how to throw a punch.”
Watson gives his student a little more credit.
“Tyler’s a good stand up boxer, has good boxing skills, uses his reach and his height really well and keeps his hands up with good defence, so he should be fine,” Watson said. “I’m confident in what he’s going to do on Saturday night.”