Big hearts and a lot of guts

BC Bronze Gloves event sees Genesis club fighters win 15 of 17 bouts

Local boxer Thomas Flegel reacts to the judges’ decision that he won his fight and weight division Sunday.

The BC Bronze Gloves is in the books, and lads from Genesis Boxing turned in a brilliant showing as all but two of the 17 local fighters entered won their weight division.

Played out at Oceanside Place over the weekend, the much anticipated tournament opened Saturday night to almost a full house.  Hosted by Rick Rae and his Genesis Boxing and Fitness, the tournament featured 44 entries in all.

Parksville’s Madison Hicks, 15, who fights out of Nanaimo, was in the ring Saturday holding her own against an opponent more than twice her age.

“Our kids did unreal,” a hoarse Rae said Sunday.

“It was fantastic,” one local said of Saturday’s action. “There were some great bouts.”

There were 18 bouts on Saturday and another 14 Sunday. The Place was packed Saturday, but there were lots of empty seats Sunday as many of the fighters from out of town that lost on Saturday headed for the ferry.

All bouts were three, two minute rounds. 

Genesis’ Brandon ‘The Hawk’ Busby was robbed Friday night in his 165kg bout.

Busby, by all accounts, was clearly winning the fight when he was disqualified for putting his head down too low, “but that’s not hard to do when the opponent is like 14 inches taller than he was,” said Rae, adding, “it was a terrible call, and they looked at the video tape later and they’ve acknowledged the mistake, so he’s getting a rematch at the Emerald Gloves in Mission (the last weekend of June).”

Brandon was also given an exhibition fight against a national champion from Victoria on Sunday, which he won.

“It was a great fight,” said Rae. “It was neck and neck until the third round and then Brandon showed the true sweet science.”

The fight of the tournament was Saturday night’s Super Heavyweight slug-fest between Parksville’s Kalin ‘Lights Out’ Langerfeld who lost on points to an opponent from the mainland.

“Kalin landed a huge right and knocked his mouthpiece out about a minute into the fight, he smiled at Kalin, smiled at me and walked over and picked it up himself. I don’t think a bulldozer would have knocked that guy over. They both earned ‘Best Bout’ for that.”

Thomas Flegel, 17, the only fighter that fought both days, won convincingly Sunday to sweep his division win the Bronze Gloves Championship title in the 83kg.

“He was awesome,” said his coach.

In an all-Genesis title fight Sunday, Kai Lacouve-e beat stablemate Marco Segui in Sunday’s lone match fight to win the 50kg division. Preston Murphy edged Matthew Jai in a split decision that was also the bloodiest bout of the weekend.

“These guys are teammates and best friends and they went toe-to-toe,” said Rae. 

Segui had a bloody nose and his lip was cut from his braces but he never missed a beat.

“It was a split decision — Matthew was ahead on the first two rounds and Preston pulled it out in the last round,” said Rae.

There were three judges ringside as well as a doctor.

Sitting ringside as special guests were Art Senft, 84-year-old former heavyweight amateur, David Ius, former Golden Boy and National Champion, as well as former golden glove champion Dan MaGarvey.

“It’s been an awesome weekend,”  Ius said Sunday. “Rick’s done a fantastic job putting this on.”

“I thought it went great, and I want to credit the community too for all their support,” said Rae.

“It’s going good,” said Chris Jones, president of Boxing BC, “a few wrinkles but that’s to be expected for the first time (hosting).”

“They’ve put a lot of effort into (the Bronze Gloves tournament) and we appreciate it,” Rick Shannon, a level 2 boxing official from Gibsons, said during Sunday’s intermission. “Beautiful venue, beautiful community … it’s nice to see a new club host it.”

The boxing at this level he said, “is not the most refined or technically proficient, but there a lot of raw energy, basic skills and lot of big hearts. Lots of guts.”



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