With the community rallied behind them Williams Lake Boxing Gym members didn’t disappoint Saturday evening at the Cariboo Memorial Complex at Teofista Boxing Unfinished Business.
The first time a pro/am boxing card had been held in the lakecity since 2009, the CMRC was packed to the rafters to watch as Williams Lake boxers fought to a clean sweep of the card — all five of them.
The atmosphere, meanwhile, was electric as fighters received standing ovations from the some 800-plus in the stands and another 18 tables ringside as fighters made their entrances.
In the main event of the evening it was Williams Lake pro Stuart McLellan putting on a surgical dissection of his opponent, Isidro Toala of Mexico, to win via eighth round technical knockout when his opponent could no longer continue.
The win improved McLellan’s professional record to 24 wins, two losses and three draws, and also garnered him the Canadian National Boxing Authority Canadian Mexican Middleweight Title.
“I just want to thank the town, and everyone for coming out, and my wife, who did so much work behind the scenes,” McLellan said. “This means a lot to all of us.
“Teofista will most definitely be back in Williams Lake.”
In the second of three pro fights, Riske Creek’s Harley Mulvahill made his professional debut to a standing ovation from the crowd as he entered the ring.
Mulvahill put stop to his opponent, Estaban Zambrano, of Mexico by way of fourth round knockout.
“I can’t explain the feeling,” Mulvahill said of making his pro debut in his hometown. “This is dedicated to everyone who showed up tonight – and thank you for the support. This all takes teamwork.”
His opponent, meanwhile, took a pounding throughout.
“He was tougher than I thought he’d be,” Mulvahill said.
“There’s nothing better than this. That’s the reason I turned pro here.
“Thank you to Stuart [McLellan] for putting in the work he did to put this on, and the whole McLellan family. They’re like a second family to me. I’ve been with them from the start and still training with them. And thanks to the support of my girlfriend, Brittany.”
The third professional fight saw Ken Huber of Kamloops, formerly 100 Mile House, outlast his opponent, Markhaile Wederburn of Calgary to improve to three wins and two losses in his professional career.
“This is why we do what we do,” he said. “Thank you all for coming out.”
On the amateur side of the card it was two young 2 Rivers Boxing Club members of Quesnel, Rylan Maurice and Caleb Tetrault, putting on a good show to get the evening started in a 75-pound contest.
Next up was Williams Lake’s Ron Elliott in his second amateur fight, who picked up a split decision over his opponent, Ramer Ocbena of Prince George.
Joey Helminger of Williams Lake, also marched into the CMRC to put on a good show as he picked up a victory over Chase Tuftin of Prince George.
Helminger poured the pressure on in the first two rounds, however, began to tire alongside his opponent as the fight entered the third.
“It felt really good,” Helminger said. “In the first round I felt like I had lots of energy, then lost some by the middle of the second. The last 10 seconds I just followed through with all I had.
“It was nerve racking to fight here in Williams Lake at first but once the crowd started cheering it pumped me up.”
In the amateur main event it was Arthur McLellan facing Jimmy Hollier of Peachland.
Arthur and Hollier went the distance, where Arthur was awarded the judges’ decision.
“He was a good, technical fighter,” Arthur said.
“I just tried using my height to be unpredictable and he was good at timing his shots, but it was awesome out there.
“Nice to have a few friends in the crowd.”