The Sweet Science

The Sport of Champions Grows Across Canada – by Paul Doiron

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This past weekend would prove itself to be one of the busiest of the year for the “Sport of Champions” here in Canada. Action packed cards were held in Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia and Saskatoon as boxing continued to grow right across this great country of ours. The Nova Scotia card featured five exciting hard-hitting bouts with the evening’s Main Event seeing the return of a 12 round Canadian championship bout being held in Canada for the first time in close to 25 years.

mcneil-vs-cave-1Halifax’s Tyson Cave captured his second championship belt in the past four months with a gutsy 11th round TKO over the more than willing Kyle McNeil of Dartmouth in an all Nova Scotian Canadian National Boxing Authority Canadian Featherweight championship bout in front of a very loud standing room only crowd at the Lebrun Arena in Bedford. A huge crowd favorite, 27-year-old MacNeil entered the ring first looking to score a major upset over the 37-year Cave who was coming off a 12 decision over Humberto de Santiago this past February 9th when he captured the vacant I.B.U World Lightweight title in a bout held at the famed Halifax Forum. McNeil stormed right out at the opening bell looking to back up the flashy Cave.

The first 8 rounds saw great back and forth action with each fighter taking turns lands good shots to both the head and body. Midway through round 9, Cave countered the aggressive McNeil (10&4 with 2 KOs) and send him to the canvas after tagging him on the chin with several hard shots. McNeil beat the count and finished the round on his feet, looking to mix it up some more. Round 10 saw McNeil come out at the bell looking to do what he does best, throwing shots with both hands as Cave boxed and landed several more telling shots at the bell.

mcneil-vs-cave-2Early in the 11th, McNeil again found himself in deep trouble as Cave (33&3 with 14 KOs) stunned him. McNeil’s corner wisely advised referee Hubert Earle that their fighter had had enough as McNeil protested the stoppage. Hats off to McNeil for his great effort. Fans have not heard the last of Kyle McNeil!

Other winners on the Nova Scotia card were Niagara Falls Ontario’s Marko Szalai, Kevin Debigare of Campbellton N.B, Oshawa Ontario’s Evan Gillard who moved his record to
3 & 0 with a 4th and final round TKO over the rugged Ramon Valles Jr. In a battle of Light Flyweights and Nova Scotia’s Artie Cousins who won his Pro debut by first round TKO over Victor Eduardo Avila of Mexico. During the evening, Halifax promoter Robert Cave was presented the J.J. Doiron Sr. Lifetime Legacy Award for his work over the past several decades in staging pro boxing cards in and around the city of Halifax. Mr. Cave was also presented a Lifetime Honorary Membership by the CNBA.

stuart-mclellan-with-supervisor-wally-doern-at-cariboo-memorial-recreation-complexSaturday night saw the rematch between Simon Kean (16& 1 with 16 KOs) and Dillon Carman (14&4 with 13 knockouts) taking place in Shawinigan Quebec. Carman had won the first meeting between the two power punchers by 4th round TKO on June 6th of last year. Kean evened the score on Saturday night, winning by a TKO with the end coming at the 2:56 mark of the 3rd round. Look for a rubber match between the two big hitters in the near future. A total of nine other bouts also took place on the Quebec card.

The city of Saskatoon Saskatchewan saw the return of Cold Lake Alberta’s Heavyweight Tim Chemelli who fought for the first time since March of 2018. Chemelli scored a first round TKO over the 9 & 1 (4 knockouts) Abokan Bokpe of Bowmanville Ontario. The impressive win by Chemelli moves his overall record to 5 & 3 with all five wins coming by way of stoppage. Super-Featherweight Wayne Smith of Saskatoon lost a 4-round decision to Mexico’s Pedro Ivan Bernal in another bout on the Saskatoon card.

Meanwhile, Williams Lake, British Colombia’s Stuart McLellan scored the 27th win of his punch for pay career with a 6-round decision over Red Deer Alberta’s Brian Samuel to stay busy as he waits for a possible future fight against Fredericton’s undefeated boxing sensation Brandon “L-Jack” Brewer. Talk about a bout between the two has been going on for the past several years and 2019 could very well see it happen. A fight between the two would no doubt sell out in Fredericton where the popular Brewer has drawn standing room only crowds to several cards there. Both Brewer and McLellan are former Canadian champions. Fans would be the real winners if this bout could be put together. The win earns McLellan the Canadian National Boxing Authority Western Canadian Super-Welterweight championship. Look for him to get a shot at the Canadian title before the end of 2019!

Congrats are in order for Ottawa Ontario’s Clair Hafner who scored the biggest win of her boxing career this past Saturday night when she won an 8-round decision over former world champ, Carlette Ewell in a bout held in Winston-Salem North Carolina. New Brunswick fans will no doubt remember Hafner twice facing the popular Annie Mazerolle of St. Louis de Kent with each winning once in the pair of New Brunswick bouts. A future bout between the two is in the works with the Canadian National Boxing Authority Canadian title on the line. Hafner has also been offered a world title championship bout on October 4th in Aukland New Zealand. In Hafner’s last bout before facing Ewell, she scored a decision win over undefeated American prospect Sonja Fox in a bout held on September 29th 2018 at the Four Bears Casino in New Town North Dakota!

Don’t forget: Keep your hands up and your chin tucked in!

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