A fearsome foursome of Williams Lake Boxing Club pugilists took their talents to Abbotsford Nov. 9 to test their mettle at The Tournament of Champions.
Hosted by the Abbotsford-Mission Boxing Club, the event featured several amateur fights including Williams Lake’s own Arthur McLellan, Duncan McLellan, Joey Helminger and Dana Matthews.
Arthur, 21 years old and competing in his sixth amateur bout, took on Phillip Lia Pappas of Gibsons in a three-round, 145-pound contest.
“We thought we won the fight but the judges didn’t seem to think so,” Arthur said of the decision.
Williams Lake Boxing Club coach Gary McLellan, also Arthur’s dad, said he thought Arthur’s opponent was busier, but wasn’t able to land too many significant blows in the fight.
“I only saw three shots get through,” Gary said. “Arthur was sticking and moving and hitting him with the jab a little more.”
Arthur, though, said he felt good inside the ring despite the loss, which moves him to two wins and four losses on his amateur career.
“He’s improved a lot,” Gary said. “He wasn’t brawling, which was nice to see.”
Arthur’s brother Duncan, 19, took on Vancouver’s Harkeapal Niijar at 175 pounds in a three-round contest.
Duncan also said he felt he did enough to win the fight, however, the judges decided otherwise.
“I laid an awful whooping on him,” Duncan said. “I thought I had it pretty handily.”
Gary said the first two rounds of the fight were close, but noted Duncan dominated the third round.
“He had him hurt a couple times.”
Duncan, meanwhile, moves to three wins and one loss in his amateur career.
In another sanctioned bout, Williams Lake’s Joey Helminger emerged the victor — improving his record to four wins and a loss — against Josue Darveau of Kelowna.
“Joey won a unanimous decision. He dominated all three rounds,” Gary said.
For his efforts, Helminger was awarded fight of the night.
Matthews’ opponent, meanwhile, withdrew at the last second, however, Kelowna’s David Wong stepped up to compete with him in an exhibition match.
“I was proud, and very happy,” Gary said of the way Williams Lake boxers competed at the event.
“They all showed improvement, they were listening to their corner. And that’s the biggest thing. I’m not always looking at whether they win or lose, but looking to see where they’ve improved.”