By Centine Wilbers
The Boxing Association of British Columbia will be hosting this year’s Bronze Gloves Boxing Tournament in Fernie on May 26 and 27. The event allows novice boxers, of 10 official fights or less, to meet and compete with athletes of a similar level. Expected to attract 30 or more boxers from around Canada, as well as nearby Montana and Washington state, local boxing coach Garth Rizzuto is excited for the upcoming competition. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for novice boxers to challenge and extend themselves.”
Preparing up to eight athletes to represent Fernie at the national competition, fellow coach Craig Hutchison will be ringside throughout the event. A former boxer, Craig was reintroduced to the sport after daughter Amy and son Michael began at Fernie’s Old School Boxing Club. “They seemed to really enjoy the atmosphere and experience of boxing at the Old School Club,” says Craig. “After a while I thought it was time I checked it out too.” Both Amy and Michael are likely to compete at the upcoming Bronze Gloves tournament. “At this stage we are searching for suitable matches. We want to set up each fight so that the athletes are of a similar level, age and weight class,” Craig explains. “It takes a bit of research, but is important to keep the fights fair and safe.”
With a doctor present at ringside throughout the tournament, the Boxing Association of British Columbia protects their athletes through immediate medical attention and specific competition rules. However, former NHL player Garth Rizzuto believes accidents and injuries can be avoided by realising that “competitive boxing is not about anger or emotion, but overcoming these distractions. The winner is determined by a ‘point system’ rather than aggression, so the athlete must be calm, almost zen-like, to perform at their optimal level. For me this was one of the most difficult things to overcome,” says Garth. “A hot temper in hockey is good, it’s a passionate sport. But a hot temper in boxing, or in business, or in day-to-day life, is detrimental. And it doesn’t win you a lot of friends.”
To be held at the Fernie Secondary School, tickets for the Bronze Gloves Boxing Tournament will be $10 each, with a portion of the funds donated back to the school. For more information, contact Garth Rizzuto or Craig Hutchison at the Fernie Old School Boxing Club, on 250-423-0272.
Correction: Last week’s article on the boxing club on page 21 incorrectly named Garth Rizutto as the coach. The boxing club asked The Free Press to let readers know Garth Rizzuto is not the competitive team coach, and Craig Hutchinson is.