It was another event for the history books for the Williams Lake Boxing Club as they hosted their second night of fights in the lakecity, Teofista Boxing 34, at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.
– Patrick Davies video
Six amateur fights, followed by two pro bouts — the main event between Williams Lake’s Stuart McLellan and Red Deer, Alta.’s Brian Samuel for the CNBA Western Canadian Title — rounded out the card, which saw the complex near full Saturday evening in both the stands and on the floor to cheer on members of the WLBC.
The event opened with Williams Lake’s Kevin Petryshen taking on James ‘Old Man’ Mott of Quesnel’s 2 Rivers Boxing Club in a spirited exhibition bout that ended with both competitors holding each others hands high in congratulation.
Next was the WLBC’s Dawson Nohr Stangoe — an 11 year old making his amateur debut in his hometown — taking on Conner Clancy of the 2 Rivers Boxing Club.
Dawson fought valiantly throughout, earning two knockdowns in the fight, however, judges saw the contest differently awarding the win to Clancy.
“It was a lot of fun,” Dawson said after the fight. “But I don’t think I really lost. It was a close match and I was happy I managed to knock him down twice, and thought I should have got the win.”
Next, Cody Hurren of Williams Lake fought Evan Lee of Quesnel in a junior ‘B’ 160-pound match where Hurren picked up a unanimous decision in what was a gruelling fight for both men that went the full three, two-minute rounds.
Duncan McLellan was next — one of four McLellan brothers on the card — taking on fellow WLBC member Joey Helminger in an exhibition bout.
Dana Matthews, making his return to the ring for the WLBC, then fought Westshore Boxing’s Matt Daniels in another fight that went the distance in a 135-pound contest. Matthews would come out on top in a split decision on the judges’ scorecards.
“It was a great fight, and for my first return fight I’m glad I had an opponent that pushed me,” Matthews said after the win.
“I knew it was close after the second round and I needed that third to win and I was just extremely happy I was able to pull it off in front of the hometown crowd.”
In the amateur main event, ‘King’ Arthur McLellan dropped a hard-fought decision against his opponent, Spencer Cao, of Victoria’s Eastside Boxing Club.
On the pro side of the card, the evening’s main event wound up called off after Williams Lake’s Harley Mulvahill’s opponent, Teddy Reno of Calgary, Alta., was not cleared to compete by doctors.
Mulvahill had a backup opponent lined up, however, the boxing commission would not approve the fight, leaving him to watch the night’s fights from the sidelines.
“No one’s more disappointed than me,” Harley said. “Stu even offered to sit and I could fight his opponent but they wouldn’t allow that, either.”
The first pro fight of the night saw Roberto McLellan make his return in front of his hometown after recently stepping back in the ring with a win in Mexico following a two-year hiatus from the sport.
McLellan pressured his opponent, Adrian Arenas, of Aguascalientes, Mexico, from the opening bell until, ultimately, the ref put a stop to the fight midway through the second round. With the win Roberto improves his professional record to nine wins, three losses and one draw.
“I got a little wild because it’s been so long,” Roberto said. “His chin was like an anvil, and he could hit pretty decently, too.
“[My dad] Gary told me to go to the body in between rounds and that’s what did him in.”
Roberto said he wanted to thank everyone for their support and for coming out to watch the fights.
“It’s awesome to see,” he said of the crowd. “It means a lot to everyone involved.”
In the main event of the evening, Williams Lake pro Stuart McLellan improved his record to 27 wins, three losses and three draws winning a unanimous decision over a game Brian Samuel (now 5-6) of Red Deer, Alta.
Stuart took the first two rounds to feel out Samuel, then appeared to settle into a game plan that saw the Williams Lake fighter counter punch and pick apart his opponent’s openings more frequently as the fight progressed and Samuel tired.
“It went great,” Stuart said of the evening. “I’m just really happy and appreciate all the fans coming out. It was a good crowd, probably the same amount we had last year.”
Of the fight, Stuart said he knew it wouldn’t be easy.
“He’s a warrior,” Stuart said of Samuel. “A lot of people told me before I was a mismatch for him but I told everybody he’s a real pain to fight.
“I love Brian, we’re friends, and a take my hat off to him but that’s sometimes how the fight game goes. You fight your friends.
“He went hard early and kind of gasses out and I just picked up the pace.”
Stuart also thanked all of the sponsors and volunteers who helped make the event possible, along with all the fighters, Eric de Guzman of Teofista Boxing and his dad and WLBC coach Gary McLellan, for being in his corner.