2 Rivers Boxing Club’s Evan “Hardcore” Peever prevailed in a fight-of-the-night main card bout at Rumble 24 this Saturday, April 7.
The card, which featured six sanctioned amateur bouts as well as four exhibition matches, thrilled the spectators from the first bell until the last.
Peever, an assistant head coach with 2 Rivers, who competed in the 170-pound weight class, was elated to get the hard fought win over Andrew Michel, a game fighter who came all the way from Lillooet to fight.
“I’m very happy,” Peever said, while catching his breath in the change room after the match.
“It’s the first win in a long time for me as I took a year off to re-centre my training and come back as an assistant head coach.
“My competitors were asking me if I still competed and I said no but then I thought about it and said, I’ve got something to prove, I could show that I can coach and still compete with my students.”
Wearing red, white and grey camouflage in the ring, Peever landed clean combos early and utlized a shoulder-in-front-of-his-jaw defensive strategy to thwart the offensive efforts of Michel.
While outmatched on the evening, Michel more than held his own, managing to land a punch that caught Peever off guard.
“I was warned about (his left hook) and he caught me once with it and I made sure my right hand was right there every time he tried to throw it afterwards.”
Peever is hoping he is able to build on the momentum gained on Saturday night when he competes at the Golden Gloves tournament in Fort St. John in a couple weeks.
Although it is back to the drawing board for Michel, he enjoyed the experience of fighting in Quesnel, citing the crowd’s energy as a major plus.
“It got me pumped and I feel very welcome here,” he said after the match.
When asked about his power punch, Michel chuckled.
“I rocked him a couple times. I am a south paw but I train conventional.”
Fantastic Feature Fight
Equally exciting, in this reporter’s humble opinion, was the feature bout of the evening, which pitted Harley Mulvahill of Williams Lake against Rhett Gibbons, who fights out of Vancouver, in a contest at 155 pounds.
Both fighters threw with mean intentions early and did not let up as the fight went on.
It looked like the match was going to be decided by whoever had the better chin, as some unchecked thudding hooks made their way past both fighters’ guards.
Mulvahill, who at 33 thinks of himself as a, “dinosaur in this game,” didn’t like what he was facing from the outside, so decided to close the distance and work the body of Gibbons.
“I could tell I was hurting him to the body, because usually when you hit somebody to the body and they want to come back on you to the body that means that – yeah that hurt and I want to get you back.”
The Williams Lake Boxing Club fighter missed the mark in the second, landing a low blow to Gibbons but thankfully, the errant blow was shaken off and the fight continued.
Mulvahill ended up getting his hand raised, but by the crowd’s roars throughout, it was clear that both fighters could leave the gym with their heads held high.
“I wasn’t expecting him to put the kind of pressure he put, but he’s good at what he does, you know?,” said Gibbons, a tall young man who fiddled with his hand wraps while talking after the fight.
“He puts the pressure on, throws good on the inside, I think I caught him with a couple good body shots but I should have been keeping on the outside a little more behind my jab but he was just running right through, so I had to work on the inside with him.”
Rounding off the card
Tyler Doust of 2 Rivers lost a close decision to Ashton Santos, a Prince George fighter fighting out of Shaolin Boxing Club.
The young fighters, competing at 100 pounds, came out swinging for the fences early and payed the price for it, ending up sucking wind by the end of the first round.
Both competitors stuck it out to the end but it was Santos looking slightly more calm as the fight went on as he consistently found a home for his jab.
Two fighters out of opposing Prince George gyms competed at 160 pounds.
Chase Tustain from Spruce Capital Warriors had lots of fans in the audience who cheered him to a decision win.
He managed to tire out Nicholas Feller from Shaolin Boxing Club by utilizing a power right hand to finish off his combinations.
The lone finish of the night came as a result of Clearance Gamache from the Shaolin Boxing Club giving Kelly “Machine Gun” Gerk no room to maneuver in their 155 pound match.
The taller Prince George fighter set a blazing pace from the bell.
Although Gerk managed to land some power shots, and never hit the mat, his bell was rung too many times and the referee was forced to declare a TKO in the first round.
A fun 145 pound affair between Ramir Obena from Spruce Capital Warriors and Ron Elliot of Williams Lake rounded off the sanctioned bouts.
Obena smiled, laughed and danced throughout, showing a loose style that befuddled Elliot at times.
Despite having a ball in the ring, Obena managed to get cut by a blow from Elliot in the first that almost stopped the fight.
The ringside doctor took a long look but decided in the end to let the match continue.
Seeing his handiwork painted on Obena’s face, Elliot ramped up the aggression, which helped him earn the decision in the judges’ eyes.