Local boxers Gage Duthie and Shannon Ryan have returned victorious from their bouts at a tournament in Spokane over the weekend.
The two went up against against opponents that featured different challenges. Duthie faced a more experienced fighter, while Ryan stepped up into a heavier weight class.
However, they met those challenges and came through with strong bouts, according to Eagles Boxing Club coach Bill Watson.
Duthie ended up fighting a younger opponent named Dylan Guzman, who is a nephew to former Canadian champion Kenny Guzman, with 12 fights under his belt.
“Our advantage was we were a year older and we were about seven pounds heavier,” said Watson, “so we were going to use that to our advantage for the fight. That was the game plane going in.”
Duthie came out hard with the intention of showing Guzman that he wasn’t going to be a pushover despite the experience gap.
“Gage went right after him, threw those power shots and kept him away,” Watson said.
Duthie took the first round, and Guzman knew he had to step it up in the second round, which he did, outboxing his Cranbrook opponent.
The third round was the decider, and while both gassed out with roughly a minute left, Gage did enough to win the fight, said Watson.
“They announced it, the ref raised his hand and he jumped about three feet in the air,” said Watson.
Ryan faced Savannah Riggles, a shorter, stockier opponent, but that didn’t stop her from getting the win mid-match after the referee stopped the fight.
Watson said Ryan wanted to give her an eight-count, which is when the referee steps in to stop the action and determine if the fight should continue with a countdown from eight.
“Our plan was to be really busy with the jab and we worked on different combinations, trying to catch our opponent coming in,” said Watson.
Ryan managed to get her eight count in the first round, coming out hard with better combinations, said Watson.
The fight continued after the referee did the countdown and the first round ended shortly after that.
Ryan came out swinging again in the second round and managed to force another eight-count on her opponent. The two met at the centre of the ring afterwards, but only lasted 10 or 15 more seconds before the ref stepped in and stopped the fight, said Watson.
The official sent the two boxers to their corners, and Ryan was initially confused as to what was going on, added Watson, before it was announced that she was the winner.
“She was quite thrilled, but at the same time, she felt sorry for her opponent, she’s a good sportsman,” said Watson.
The Eagles Boxing Club will take a bit of a break over Christmas, before gearing up for another event at the end of January in Alberta, which Watson hopes to bring Duthie and Ryan to, along with an older fighter competing in the super heavy weight and a youngster looking for his first bout.