The Charity Challenge Boxing event was a total knockout in its second year at Eagles Hall Oct. 25.
After raising more than $20,000 for local families in need in its first year, the local charity boxing event has smashed that mark.
With donations still coming in, the event has raised $28,494 as of 4 p.m. on Oct. 29.
“I’m absolutely blown away,” said organizer Tom White Wednesday afternoon. “I can’t believe the crowd that we had open their wallets. It was just amazing. We had some guys that were bidding on two, three and four items. Thank you, thank you, thank you to those guys and the guys who stepped up and jumped into the ring to raise money. That was awesome of them, too.”
White, along with three others, comprise a panel that determine how funds will be distributed within the community. If you know a family or person in need, you are encouraged to contact Tom White at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations are still being accepted.
Those in attendance at Eagles Hall were treated to an electrifying night of boxing, which first featured 14 amateur bouts prior to five charity bouts between local tough guys and tough gals.
As the host, the local Cranbrook Eagles Boxing Club welcomed the Calgary Southpaw Boxing Club, Salmon Arm Bulldogs Boxing Club, Lethbridge Boxing Club, Nelson Boxing Club and the Cougar Boxing Club of Edmonton.
Highlighting the night of amateur fights was a bout featuring local boxer Jared Luke and Kyle Woolman of the Southpaw Boxing Club.
The pair of 75-kilo boxers went toe-to-toe in a fast-paced first round. A more methodical second round finished with a flurried exchange between the two. With the bout on the line in the third round, Luke and Woolman left it all in the ring, exchanging heavy blows.
Woolman won the fight in a split decision, but at the end of the evening both fighters were acknowledged as having put forth the Best Bout of the Night. Woolman also took home the title of Best Youth Boxer.
Triston MacWilliams, another Southpaw boxer, earned the Best Junior Boxer award for his second-round technical knockout of Lethbridge’s Thomas Beck.
Salmon Arm’s Dan Gawley earned the title of Best Senior Boxer after scoring a first-round technical knockout of Lethbridge’s Ryley Ferguson.
On the strength of two exhilarating performances forms Woolman and MacWilliam, Calgary’ Southpaw Boxing Club was recognized with the Best Team Award.
The much-anticipated return of Cranbrook boxer Brandon Luke was put on hold. Luke was slated to go up against Cougar Boxing Club’s Taha Rizvi, but an injury forced the Edmonton boxer out of action.
Coach Bill Watson was able to pull together a last-minute exhibition match for Luke, who instead fought Fuji Blut of the Cougar Boxing Club. For Blut, it was his first time in an organized fight, while Luke had a perfect 6-0 record already under his belt.
“[Brandon] was able to get some ring rust off,” Watson said Wednesday afternoon. “I was quite happy with his performance. I had to yell at him to back off a bit there because he was putting his combinations together and his opponent, being less experienced, just wasn’t prepared for it.
“[Brandon] wanted to put on a good show. I told him, ‘Just go out there and look good without hurting your opponent.’ He did his best.”
As is standard with exhibition bouts, there was no decision in the fight between Luke and Blut.
Closing the evening was a handful of charity bouts, the first of which pitted the fast-firing Rothwell brothers, Trip and Chase, against one another.
Mike Peabody and Joey Sandberg, of The Choice snowboard shop, followed up the brotherly bout with their own battle between best friends.
Sue Eimer and Emma Jonsson went toe-to-toe, exchanging some heavy shots.
In a mismatch of physical proportions, B-104’s Derek Kortschaga took on organizer Tom White. Adorned in super-hero garb, complete with capes on his socks, White scored a victory for the mini-mites, taking down Kortschaga with a heavy uppercut. The blow slowed Kortschaga and for a brief moment, it appeared as though the officials were going to be forced to stop the bout.
The final bout of the night matched Randy “The Moose” Rothwell against Steve “The Bulldog” Mercandelli. The two heavyweights battle for three feisty rounds before Rothwell was declared champion.
White wished to all the boxers as well as the sponsors that helped pitch in with auction items and other support: Freightliner of Cranbrook Ltd.; Bridge Interiors; The Choice; Cranbrook Dodge; Jax Audio; Brothers Insurance; Hot Shots Cafe; Darrin and Candice Pickering of All Seasons Motorsports; Frank’s Steakhouse; Sidekick Stickers; Jewels on Ninth; Bob and Andreja Scandland of Abundant Energy; B-104; Williams and Associates; R & I Trucking; Capitol Tire; Barry and Dale Shingar of Shingar Trucking; K & K Power Supply.