Esquimalt is set to see some of Canada’s best amateur boxing talent step into the ring on Saturday (Oct. 1) at the Songhees Wellness Centre.
Twelve fights will be happening, with national champions and Olympic hopefuls on the card. This is the second boxing event in Esquimalt this year, with the first being held back in May at Bayview Place.
“For an amateur event it was incredible support we got,” said Jason Heit, owner of Champ Promotions, the company running both events. Heit trains a number of the boxers that will be fighting on Saturday locally in Victoria.
The first event in May was pitched as a comeback – both for events and for the boxers themselves – after a couple of quiet years due to COVID. In an ordinary year it is tough for amateur fighters to be able to schedule fights in Western Canada with all the travel and logistical challenges involved, said Heit, but that has been especially so the past couple of years.
“We’ve good talent but we lack the springboard, we’re hoping to be that springboard.”
Saturday’s bout is set to be Victoria boxer Brandon Colantonio’s last amateur bout before he signs a professional contract. The heavyweight had been struggling to find fights during COVID and made a return to the ring in May’s event in Esquimalt.
Heit said there are quite a few fighters on Saturday’s card who are in the running for the Canadian Olympic team. The provincial championships are in November and from there Olympic trials are in April so Saturday’s event comes at an important time for those hoping to be part of Canada’s Olympic team for the Paris Olympics in 2024. One of those is Victoria boxer Terris Smith, who is coming off a second-placed finish in the Haringey Cup, a major amateur boxing competition in Europe.