Former Williams Lake resident Alisah McPhee made her professional boxing debut in fine fashion Friday night at the Femme Fatale event in Vancouver.
McPhee went the full six rounds to win a split decision against Jaime Ward — a North Vancouver fighter with more than 30 amateur fights under her belt and with one professional win.
Ward faced defeat Friday, however, when she took on McPhee in the semi-main event.
“I gave up close to 10 pounds but came out victorious,” McPhee told the Tribune. “We were fighting at 130 [pounds], but my regular weight is 118.”
McPhee, who was born and raised in Williams Lake, now teaches grades 4/5 at Centennial Park Elementary School in Abbotsford. She attended Cihlcotin Road elementary, Williams Lake Junior secondary and Columneetza Senior secondary but moved away following graduation to complete an Associate of Arts Degree at Capilano University. She also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Simon Fraser University and a teaching diploma from the University of the Fraser Valley.
She has also played soccer, winning two Canadian national titles, two provincial titles and was awarded national MVP in 2001.
The 31-year-old said she’s been training as a boxer for nearly four years. McPhee now competes in Combsport, semi-pro league where participants compete without headgear. Her most recent fight prior to Friday’s was in May.
“I have been unable to get a fight since then, and have only had five bouts,” she said. “I am undefeated and one win was by knockout. Most recently I have been in the ring as a participants in an exhibition — means we don’t go all out and we wear headgear — fight as a professional. I have had a difficult time finding fights. I’ve been told I’m hard to match due to weight/size and record. Needless to say I’ve recently become a pro … I was on the same card as my sparring partner and fellow professional, Sarah Pucek, who [fought] for the Canadian featherweight title.”
She added she was always intrigued by boxing.
“It’s not so much the fighting part but the pure athleticism and individuality of the sport,” she said. “I have always played sports like soccer and rugby and have always been a very physical player. I always thought I would like to try boxing but never had the opportunity.
“That changed when a friend was talking about boxing and I said,’ I want to watch you fight.’ He said, ‘Why watch? You should train.’ It made sense to me so I did. I like the challenge of the individuality of the sport.
“I always say when you step into the ring ‘you get what you put in,’ meaning the result will show how hard you train.”