Three Cranbrook Eagles boxers were on the ropes at the Red Shield Fall Classic Boxing Tournament in Portland.
All of the fighters had tough competition as two lost in unanimous decisions and one lost in a split decision.
The youngest of the eagle boxers to go over was Connor Ferrier, 12, who took on Eric Rodriguez of Hillsboro, Oregon in the 12-year-old 85-pound division.
With Rodriguez throwing punches right from the get-go, Ferrier used his slick defence to escape round one.
“It was close. In that case, he was the better agressioner, and I need to work on a few things,” explained Ferrier.
In rounds two and three both fighters went toe to toe, but it was Rodriguez who walked away with the decision after out punching Ferrier.
“I took a hard loss, but I learned a few lessons about being more aggressive than my opponent and being on him the whole time, outboxing him,” said Ferrier.
Being aggressive is a key skill that Ferrier wants to work on for his next fight, as well as moving around more. Ferrier is going to work hard towards provincials, which are in December.
“I think with good help from my awesome coaches I’ll be able to quickly learn more about that stuff,” he said.
Also on the trip was Dylan Clark. The 17-year-old was in the 152-pound division going against Connor Ferguson from Vancouver, Washington.
“I fought a good, aggressive and tough opponent,” said Clark.
Ferguson started early with a steady left jab to keep Clark off balance.
In round three Clark started to get his game back, but it was too late as Ferguson took the decision.
“The reason he beat me was he was busier on the jab, so he ended up throwing more punches than me. That was the difference between a win and a loss,” he said.
By the end of the match, Clark said he knew what the decision would be as Ferguson was more active.
“I have to be busier,” he said noting he hopes to get into better shape than he already is and have a better start.
“My first round wasn’t my best first round I ever fought. I picked it up by the second and third round, but it wasn’t quite enough to get the win,” said Clark.
Canadian Youth Heavyweight Champion Nike Blackmore also was on the road in Portland to fight in the senior division against Joseph Aguilar from Portland.
The tone was set before the match began with a centre ring stare down by Aguilar.
“He gave me the real stare down, but I just held my composure and started fighting,” said Blackmore.
Heavy blows were exchanged right from the opening bell, and to the surprise of most there were no knock downs through the three rounds.
“It was toe to toe the whole time, crazy. It was pretty awesome because everybody was cheering for me, even the Americans were pretty happy about it,” said Blackmore.
In a close split decision, Aguilar was the winner. With the match being a close one, Blackmore was happy with how he performed and said if he had to take anything away it was to not be intimidated by an opponent.
“This opponent, in particular, was really scary. He had all the things most people are scared of,” said Blackmore.
The Cranbrook fighters are now preparing for provincials, which is set to happen in December. All three currently represent the Team BC Boxing Team.