Matt Lee victorious in BC light heavyweight championship – Clash at the Cascades
Clash at the Cascades 24: The Fight Friday night was filled with plenty of drama that left fight fans on the edge of their seats.
With the Coast Convention Centre and Cascades Casino preparing for the WBC Canadian Championships September 13, fighters were at their best.
In the main event Matt Lee of Langley City Boxing took on 4 Corners Boxing Club owner Mike Weise in a scheduled five round bout for the vacant BC light heavyweight title.
But the feel good story of the evening was the emergence of the newly operational Eastside Boxing Club, located on the Downtown Eastside.
The club had three competitors in action on their first show since opening their doors to the public. At the end of the night, all members of the Eastside Boxing Club left the Cascades Casino wearing their newly pressed club t-shirts proudly.
Fresh off his victory at the Aprons for Gloves Restaurant Rumble fundraiser, 2012 Olympic judo alternate Abdul Fadel continued his change of path, competing in his second boxing match.
Fadel showed poise beyond his two amateur bouts and boxed beautifully against Kevin Liminsang from Pack of Wild Dogs Boxing (POWD). Despite some solid offense, dirty tactics and showboating from Liminsang, Fadel won a unanimous decision.
Coach Dave Schuck was hesitant to put Fadel into competition after his time in the gym, despite his judo pedigree.
“I was a little apprehensive with Abdul because he is one of those guys that’s not a good gym fighter; he doesn’t look very good in the gym,” said Shuck, head coach at Eastside Boxing Club. “I know that he has competed at a high level with judo, so lets let the guy go and see what he’s got. He really showed me a lot of poise, a lot of composure. He didn’t go crazy, he just countered and out-boxed the guy.”
After multiple judo national championships, Fadel, 19, put the sport behind him to pursue boxing. A big factor in that decision was the support he has felt at the boxing club he calls home.
“I’m not even going to take credit for this. I had an amazing corner, amazing people working with me. We all put in a team effort for this, preparing for our fights,” said an ecstatic Fadel. “It’s just a blessing I got to win tonight and I can’t take all the credit for it, no way. I’m happy representing Eastside Boxing Club, I’m happy starting a new chapter in my life taking on boxing.”
Cruiserweight contender Luke Creighton from Eastside Boxing was also victorious, moving up to heavyweight against James Hatch from POWD, a physically much stronger opponent.
Creighton, who weighed 203 pounds, was often bullied by Hatch, who tipped the scales at nearly 220 pounds. In the end it was Creighton’s boxing ability that prevailed over the power-punching slugger. The judges awarded a unanimous decision victory.
In the main event, Weise recently returned to the ring for the first time in nearly a decade.
Lee, who also returned to action after a recent layoff, physically outmatched the game but older Weise. After two one-sided rounds, Weise’s corner stopped the bout, making Matt Lee the new BC light heavyweight champion.
Also on the card for Eastside Boxing was coach Brian Grant, who also returned to the ring from a 14-year layoff. Grant was game, fighting an opponent 20 years his junior in Manny Dhillon of Suitela Boxing, but was not able to shake the ring rust off in time, losing a unanimous decision.
“The one loss was Brian Grant fighting a guy 20 years younger. Brian hasn’t been in the ring for 14 years, he had some cobwebs, a little ring rust,” said Schuck. “He still performed well; next time will be a different story. He fought his heart out and next time you will see a different guy.”
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