Professional boxing is returning to Victoria this Saturday (June 3) with a card full of international and local fighters.
Several past Olympians will be in the local ring, as well as amateur boxers who are hoping to make it to that stage, like Victoria’s own female flyweight Terris Smith. On the men’s side, Langford’s Braydon Blazina and Victoria’s Tua Va’a will also be stepping into the ring.
Victoria heavyweight Brandon Colantonio was on the amateur side of the card before turning professional last year and has found the transition to be one that suits him.
“I feel like I’m meant for the longer fights and all the extra rounds. I think amateur was kind of like a sprint instead of a marathon and I’m more meant for a marathon,” he said.
Jason Heit, who coaches Colantonio, told Black Press previously that the challenges boxers in Western Canada, particularly B.C., face in finding fights are extensive. But Colantonio says turning pro has helped negate those.
“You’re like a free agent all the time right now, you can pick your contracts and everything is compensated. A big thing with amateur was I couldn’t afford to – hard as I worked and all that – I couldn’t afford to go on these really cool tournaments and get more experience because I just couldn’t afford it.”
Colantonio added that events like the one on Saturday, put on by Heit’s company Champ Promotions, should be a boon for B.C. boxing.
The event is happening on Saturday at the Victoria Conference Centre, in partnership with the Victoria Hospital Foundation.