Williams Lake Boxing Club’s Harley Mulvahill, 27, returned from the Golden Gloves in Vernon last weekend with a final trophy.
“I almost didn’t go, but I’m glad I went,” Mulvahill says.
“I was expecting it to take place in the middle of May and then we got this memo at the club a week before the fights were to take place saying they were happening on April 21 and 22.”
Because of that, the number of fighters who showed up was less than normal, and gave Mulvahill an advantage.
“It wasn’t a bad turnout, but I’ve seen much bigger. I expected to fight two days in a row and only ended up having to fight once.”
His opponent, Dalton Red Crow from Lethbridge, Alta, weighed about six or seven pounds more than Mulvahill.
Mulvahill fought in the 165 lb. 75 kg division. He had more experience — with about 30 fights under his belt.
During the first round, Red Crow came out strong and in decent shape.
“I probably had a little bit of an edge of height on him so that worked to my advantage definitely. I usually try to play tall if I can,” Mulvahill explains, adding he had moved up into a new weight class and fought in tournament at that weight for the first time.
“I usually fight lighter than that, but I’m getting too big for that now so I’ve had to grow and move up.”
He admits he was expecting to rematch a guy from Vancouver Island who has a win over him, but he didn’t make it.
In the end, there were only two who showed up for that class, but Mulvahill was glad he went because it’s hard to get fights sometimes in the Cariboo.
By the second round, he was starting to figure out Red Crow’s style.
Angles worked well Mulvahill says.
“He’d come at me straight ahead and throw in big shots. It was real easy to side step him and then counter. He was really susceptible to my movements as long as I used angles.”
At the tournament, Mickey Sims, president of BC Amateur Boxing, actually stepped up and coached Mulvahill, something the boxer is grateful for.
“He said if I think about anything, think about angles and getting a new angle on him. Boxing is about lots of angles, pivoting left and right. Red Crow was a real strong big guy, but his boxing skills weren’t as polished as mine.”
He’d come straight in with big punches, but Mulvahill wasn’t there to hit, and didn’t land much on him.
“In round three he could barely touch me. I was starting to figure him out and I was slipping all over, countering good, and getting the juices flowing,” he says.
The three rounds lasted three minutes and by the end, his opponent was bleeding out of his nose and his mouth, and Mulvahill says his own arms and chest looked like they’d been in a blood bath.
“You never really get used to that,” he admits.
When the bell rang, he knew he had the provincial title.
Afterwards Mulvahill told Red Crow he appreciated him coming all the way from Lethbridge.
“If he hadn’t shown up, I wouldn’t have had a fight.”
Up until the memo arrived at the club, Mulvahill hadn’t been training seriously or getting much sparring in. He had his heart set on the fights in Quesnel and Vernon taking place later in May.
Once he signed up for the Golden Glove, he trained nine days straight, sparring with brothers Stu and Roberto McLellan of the WLBC.
“I couldn’t ask for better sparring partners. Stu is ranked number one in Canada for 160 lbs. and Roberto is Canadian Champion at 154. I’m glad I have them because without them I probably wouldn’t be at the level that I’m at.”
In two weeks, Mulvahill hopes to participate in a bout in Quesnel.