A Nanaimo boxer overwhelmed her opponent to become a national champion.
Seventeen-year-old Dakota Plensky is a Boxing Canada champ in her youth division after scoring a first-round TKO in the gold-medal final at nationals in Edmonton at the end of March.
The experience of nationals included a week-long training camp, but after that, the gold medal got decided in one short bout.
Going into the competition, Plensky didn’t know much about her opponent, Jihane Rafi of Quebec, but it didn’t matter. Jag Singh Seehra, one of Plensky’s coaches, said he could tell the Nanaimo fighter was dialled in. At the start of the fight, Plensky burst out of her corner.
“She gave her a five-punch combination from one end to the other end, non-stop, and the ref stepped in and gave her the first eight-count,” Seehra said. “And now she’s hyped, right? And as soon as they fight again, she came guns blazing, a straight left, right hook and the ref stepped in again.”
At that level, two standing eight-counts stops a fight, and so a minute and a half into the bout, it was over and Plensky was a national champ.
“I had my mom in the corner and I had my two coaches in the corner and they were over the moon,” she said. “And Team B.C. is great and it’s really awesome to have all their support and everyone’s support. It felt really good hearing everyone and I couldn’t believe it.”
It was Plensky’s second trip to nationals. Her mental game has gotten stronger the past year, she said, as well as her cardio, and her experience was a factor.
“I was definitely more focused and well-prepared because last year, I just kind of got thrown into it and then I got to experience it,” said Plensky. “This year, I knew what I was going up against and I knew what I was going for: gold.”
Winning a national title will open up more boxing opportunities – Plensky now becomes a member of Team Canada. She’ll be heading to Quebec in a couple of weeks for more training and testing and said she looks forward to pursuing an “amazing sport” and continuing to build the team bonds she’s shared.
She had several teammates at nationals – Krishan Lysenko won bronze, Jerome Leroyer also competed and Joss Grossgardt travelled with the team but was wasn’t cleared to box due to injury.
Seehra said he thought Lysenko, who faced national champion Sara Kali in the semis, should have been the one to advance to the gold-medal bout.
“She landed the cleaner shots; she was the busier fighter,” the coach said.
He said Leroyer getting to experience his first nationals was huge for the prospect.
“The talent this kid has right now at this age, I’m shocked…” Seehra said. “The sky’s the limit for him.”