With the crowd clearly on her side, former Williams Lake resident Alisah McPhee was able to ride that support as she won a unanimous decision to capture the Canadian Super Flyweight Championship title.
McPhee, who now lives in Langley, won 77-75, 78-74, 78-74 to win by unanimous decision over her opponent, Judy ‘The Pitbull’ Pereira, in the main event at Turmoil on 200th 2 at Langley Events Centre on Friday night.
“It feels pretty good to go in, have a goal in mind and be able to achieve it. The hard work has paid off,” she said.
“To hear people chant Team McPhee when you are out there, it really does boost you,” McPhee said.
With Pereira coming from Winnipeg and the Stingers Boxing Academy, McPhee, who boxes out of Langley City Boxing, had the fans behind her.
McPhee, a 37-year-old from Langley, had at least 90 people cheering her in the stands, including some who came from where she grew up in Williams Lake, and others from Nanaimo. There were also several of her colleagues from Abbotsford’s Eugene Reimer Middle School, as well as some of her students.
For most of her colleagues, this was the first time they had seen McPhee fight.
“They see me getting smaller and smaller and looking a little tired and knowing that I get up at 5:30 and go to the gym and then after school, I go for a run and then I go sparring. For them to just see what I do (to prepare for a fight), now their eyes are really open,” McPhee said.
The eight-round fight was even for the first half, but McPhee seemed to take control in the final three rounds. The only thing she knew about her 38-year-old opponent was that she tended to come out aggressive at the start of the rounds.
“She would come into the round pretty forceful and then lose her energy. I thought I had the better fitness,” McPhee said. “And in the latter rounds, I was able to find my punches off her.”
McPhee also headlined the inaugural Turmoil on 200th event at Langley Events Centre back in May, losing that bout.
“You can always take stuff back and learn,” she said about what that fight taught her, which was that she needed more quality sparring in her preparation.
That is easier said than done but McPhee was helped by Sarah Pucek, who had quite the decorated amateur and professional boxing career but is now retired from the ring and working as a judge.
Despite a weight disadvantage, facing an opponent of Pucek’s quality helped McPhee up her game for this bout.
Video courtesy of Ten Feet Sports and Entertainment
The fight was the final of six on the Turmoil on 200th 2 card.
In the other two pro fights, both ended in the first round by referee’s decision.
Surrey’s Julian ‘JY’ Kim (Port Kells Boxing Club) was facing Ontario’s Jason ‘Lethal Jay’ Kelly in a middleweight bout.
Both landed a flurry of punches in the first round, but after Kim knocked Kelly down, he hit him in the back of the head. The referee stopped the match, calling in an unintentional no contest.
“I stung him to the body pretty good and as he went down, I was just throwing and I clipped him in the back of the head by accident,” the 29-year-old Kim said, adding he was upset he couldn’t give his fans the show he wanted as there was a large contingent of Kim supporters in the crowd.
“I am just super disappointed I didn’t’ get the ‘W’ today.”
And in the cruiserweight division, Surrey’s Aman Aujla won by technical knockout at 2:07, after he knocked Tacoma’s Nick Coughran to the ground.
The 26-year-old from Bisla Martial Arts also won by first round technical knockout at the first Turmoil on 200th card.
“I put a lot of hard work in the gym and you get back what you put in,” he said.
Coughran was a late addition to the card after Aujla’s first two opponents both wound up dropping out.
But he didn’t let that deter his training as up until the morning of the fight, he thought he was fighting someone else.
“It is part of the game, these kinds of things happen, so you just have to be ready for anything,” Bisla said.
Aujla said he was just focused on his jab and staying relaxed, and then capitalizing on his opportunity, which came in the final minute of the first round after he landed a flurry of body shots, prompting the referee to stop the fight.
On the amateur card, a pair of Surrey fighters battled for the BC Championship, with Manraj Dhanoa (Bisla Martial Arts) besting Cody Robertson (Ibarra Combative Arts) by unanimous decision.
And Riley Gray (Carlson Gracie MMA) of Maple Ridge won by majority decision over Austin Henry-Maiale (Black Box Boxing) of Duncan in the 154-pound weight class while Vancouver’s Lev Jackson won by unanimous decision over North Vancouver’s Jacob George in the 135-pound weight class. Both were fighting as independents.