Williams Lake Boxing Club members Dustin Norberg, Duncan McLellan and Stuart McLellan are among a small group of fighters still training at the local gym in Williams Lake. Due to COVID-19 regulations, the club is not currently accepting new members. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake Boxing Club members Dustin Norberg, Duncan McLellan and Stuart McLellan are among a small group of fighters still training at the local gym in Williams Lake. Due to COVID-19 regulations, the club is not currently accepting new members. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake boxers surviving COVID-19 punch

“We’ve been back training since they let us reopen [in late June].”

The Williams Lake Boxing Club was staggered, but soundly beat the standing eight count after COVID-19 rocked the face of the sport, forcing local gym organizers to shut down for four months.

Open now for training in limited capacity, local professional boxer Stuart McLellan said, unfortunately they haven’t been able to take on any new members due to coronavirus regulations set forth by Boxing BC.

“We’ve been back training since they let us reopen [in late June],” Stuart said. “But we’ve got to follow the rules and going at limited capacity due to the size of the gym. It’s too bad because a lot of people are eager to join, but we’ve got to do things safely here.”

Currently, he said a group of about 10 boxers train Tuesday and Thursday evenings — give or take a few fighters each session — at the gym.

Stuart — a former Canadian champion who has amassed a 27-win, four-loss and three-draw record in his pro career, including 10 fights in Mexico — said sparring is allowed as long as all equipment is sanitized and clean properly before and after each session.

“It’s had a pretty huge impact on the sport throughout the province and in the world,” Stuart said. “I know of two fights they’ve held in Vancouver, but no fans and it was a pay-per-view online thing. They’re doing stuff in Mexico, but then there’s quarantine and all that to worry about.”

Right now, Stuart said his focus is on training current WLBC amateur fighters like his brother, Duncan McLellan, and newcomer Dustin Norberg, for a time when the sport can return to normal.

“It sucks not having that motivation of a fight coming up,” Duncan said, who has a five-year career as an amateur under his belt. “There’s extra cleaning, hoops to go through and all that. It’s a bit hard to stay motivated. Usually, I’m out jogging and have your next opponent in the back of your mind but that’s not there right now.”

READ MORE: Williams Lake Boxing Club members take to Lower Mainland for fight experience

Norberg agreed, noting keeping motivated through the pandemic has been the hardest part, however, said there’s still nothing that compares to training at a boxing gym.

“There’s something about it — being able to get away from everything,” he said. “It’s like a place to come vent and not worry about anything else.”


It’s no secret to those who know him Stuart McLellan is a fan of professional wrestling.

The 34-year-old pugilist has spent roughly a month training under the tutelage of Canadian Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame member Sean “Massive Damage” Dunster at his Monster Pro Wrestling School in Edmonton, Alta.

The second of four boys in his household, many makeshift backyard wrestling matches took place over the years, he said.

“I love wrestling. I have my whole life,” Stuart said. “[Training with Sean] has been so much fun and since there isn’t much happening in terms of fights in boxing I thought this would be the perfect time to do something like this and try it out.”

Stuart, though, said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to step back inside a boxing ring for a future bout with wrestling being a fun distraction for the time being.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

2021 graduate Annaliese Hunt-Owega with Burton Astleford in advance of the Reverse Grad Parade held Saturday, June 12 in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Jenna Harvey. (Photo submitted)
RCMP looking for missing woman between 100 Mile House and Williams Lake

Jenna Harvey was last heard from a week ago and claimed to be hitchhiking north

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Williams Lake’s Robert Webster, who helps operate the organization’s Parking Lot Clothing Drive, and Angela Kadar, executive director, collect clothing at BBBSWL’s new, permanent cargo trailer location at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds infield. BBBSWL will be at the infield parking lot from noon to 1 p.m. every Tuesday until the fall collecting soft goods including men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, outerwear, boots, shoes, hats, mittens, scarves, ties, socks, purses, wallets, bags, bedding, towels and jewellery. Kadar thanked the Williams Lake Stampede Association for being so accommodating and for allowing them to use the space to park the trailer. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Williams Lake Parking Lot Clothing Drive gets new, permanent location

BBBSWL will be at the Stampede infield parking lot from noon to 1 p.m. every Tuesday

Williams Lake Stampeders forward Dylan Richardson thwarts a Quesnel Kangaroos defender as he skates in for a shot on goal during the 2019/20 Central Interior Hockey League season. (Patrick Davies photo - Black Press Media)
Stampeders plan post pandemic return to ice in Williams Lake

The eight-team Central Interior Hockey League includes franchises in Quesnel and Williams Lake

Interior Health’s mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic will be at the 150 Mile House Fire Department on Wednesday, June 23 for people to receive their first dose of the vaccine. (Monica Lamb-Yorski
Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic slated for 150 Mile House June 23

The clinic is for people who have not received a first dose

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read