NEW GLASGOW – Boxing is still alive and well in Pictou County.
A sellout crowd of 400 people filled Summer Street Industries on Saturday night for the Albion Amateur Boxing Club’s card, which featured 12 bouts. Eight of the 12 featured locals.
“It means the world to me to see all these people out and that they’ll support their county,” said Albion boxer Mike Jordan. “Just heading back here (into the main room) I got 200 handshakes trying to get here. It’s just nice to see people that actually care and even if they aren’t a fan of boxing they just want to see somebody from the county do well.”
After three years without a card, this was in the works for months. The club was also looking for a big way to celebrate their 25th anniversary as a club in Pictou County. The event went perfectly according to Albion head coach Jim Worthen, who said he hopes the can hold multiple cards a year now that they have found a venue like Summer Street.
Brady MacDonald of the Albion Boxing Club, a national bronze medalist in 2013, was in the main event of the night against Colton Perry. To the approval of the hometown crowd, MacDonald won the split decision.
In the third and final round they started chanting “Brady” as he landed a few punches on Perry. The rush of emotions when that happened was unlike anything he had ever felt before.
“I just pushed myself harder when they started cheering and that’s how I got it (the win),” said MacDonald. “I’ve never had a crowd like this before in my life, never at nationals, never at anything. It felt pretty good, I loved every second of it and it was really fun.”
The night started out with a strawweight exhibition match between Albion boxers Max MacCallum and Gavin Tracey.
Dawson Fraser was the next Albion boxer to step in the ring, boxing Alex Tilley of Newfoundland. His third bout since starting to box, Fraser won a unanimous decision.
In the second and final exhibition match of the night Dawson Bowes and Keegan Worthen, both Albion boxers, put on a show for the crowd. Even though it was an exhibition, both were looking to showcase their talent and gave each other a big hug when the final bell rang as both were named winners.
Josh Prince of Tri-Town was the next boxer to go up against an Albion member, this time it was Triston Dewtie in a light-heavy bout.
“It was pretty awesome coming in with just my song playing and theirs not interrupting mine or anything,” said Dewtie about coming into the ring.
Not only was his bout his first at a home card, but his first ever. Against Josh Prince of Tri-Town in Sydney, Dewtie controlled the bout for three rounds, landing some big punches in the second and third rounds.
“I didn’t know what to expect really,” said Dewtie about his first bout. “I hadn’t heard much about the other guy. I just knew where he was from and what his weight was. That’s all I knew.”
“I was kind of scared because all my friends and family are here,” he said. “The nerves went away as soon as I threw a few punches pretty much. Hearing that I won was the best.”
After the intermission Austin Levi and Jacob Ferdinand came out swinging, both landing some early punches. In the final two rounds both boxers looked for the edge, but when the final bell rang the crowd was on the same page as the judges as Levi won his bout by unanimous decision.
In his first bout, Angus Butt was against Colten Granthouse of Ring 73 in Glace Bay in a light-heavy match. Both men landed some good blows to start, but it was Granthouse that landed the biggest one, causing Butt’s nose to start bleeding. He got cleaned up after the first round, but in the second the blood wouldn’t stop. The referee declared it a technical knockout.
Before what was eventually called the fight of the night, Dustin Dunn of Pegasus Amateur Boxing Club won a unanimous decision over Corey Ralph.
That set the stage for Jordan’s bout with Trevor Douphine of Ring 73 in Glace Bay. Just under a month ago on March 8 the pair boxed at Centre 200, with the heavyweights bringing the crowd to its feet. For that reason it was no surprise that their matchup was named the fight of the night for the second straight card they’ve been involved in.
“It was uplifting and it was a whole different experience,” said Jordan about boxing at home against Douphine. “When I was in Cape Breton if he landed a punch the crowd went nuts and it was kind of demotivational for you, but here if you land a jab everybody is screaming ‘yeah, go, yeah.’ It was a whole different experience.
“When you hear that crowd start to act up you start to revitalize.”
Jordan won the bout on Saturday with Douphine, meaning the two have each won once. The bout at the home card over the weekend was just Jordan’s second bout in his boxing career. He said he gained a lot of experience from the first one.
“I wasn’t as tired as I was in the first fight in Trevor and I felt more prepared,” he said. “In the first round I felt good, but as he started to add pressure we were both getting battle fatigue and the punches started to come a little slower. I had to watch out for the big bombs from him because he’s a hard puncher.”
All local boxers said their experience at a home card was outstanding and they hope there will be more in the future. Worthen said he hopes they can continue to work with Summer Street and grow their relationship.
“It might not be a 25th anniversary, but I would be all over Jim, begging him to give me another fight,” said Jordan. “The first fight for me was a great experience, but a hometown fight, the nerves were through the roof. After the fight was over I didn’t care if I won and I told Jim that. I just told him I’m glad I put up a good fight against a good fighter.
“If he didn’t put on another home card I’d be sad, I’d be really sad. They definitely need more of these around here.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris