The Cranbrook Eagles Boxing Club had a successful showing in a tournament in Lethbridge over the weekend, as two fighters brought home a gold and silver medal.
Dylan Clark was victorious in his one and only fight, even though he was schedule for two, while Josh Kapintaniuk fought his way to the title bout, but came up short against his opponent.
What makes their showing impressive is the fact that this was the first time they’ve stepped into a competitive fight and have only been training since September, according to coach Tom White.
Clark, 12, handily won his fight by getting the upper hand early in the first round, spending the following two being more mindful of technique and countering attacks.
“We could’ve stopped the kids in the first round easily but because it was his first fight, I wanted him to get the experience of getting all three rounds in so he could get the feel of what it was like,” said White.
Clark is a natural athlete who has quickly learned the nuances of boxing, which has come from training four days a week at the club, said White.
“He just catches on so quickly, his movement, his slipping and punches, his ability to just catch onto things that most guys take a couple years—he’s caught on in a couple months,” White said.
Clark was scheduled for two fights, but his opponent declined the card after the Cranbrook fighter’s first fight, added White.
Kapintaniuk, 23, also had his first set of fights, beating the boxer favoured to win the tournament, but fell in the title fight to earn a silver medal.
“He just worked his jab and we had a good game plan going into the first fight, and he listened well and did it,” said White.
Kapintaniuk’s second fight was tougher.
“He lost focus in the first round, got away from the game plan and we got caught with a bunch of hard shots and it didn’t go our way,” White added.
The Eagles Club will be putting on a local bout in April, hosting the Golden Gloves tournament in the Cranbrook Curling Centre—the first time it’s been held outside of Vancouver for a number of years, according to White.
“We’re looking at putting on a big, big show and hopefully a good crowd-pleaser because we have contacted guys in Montana and Washington,” said White. “We’ve got guys committing from Alberta and Saskatchewan already, so it’ll be pretty exciting.”