Bluewater Boxing Club continues to bring home hardware, this time from the Brampton Cup — North America’s largest tournament — that saw 500 participants compete over four days from February 1-4.
The club sent eight boxers to the tournament, which normally boasts more than 600 fighters, but this year reduced the number of registered fighters, resulting in only four of the local athletes competing.
Melodia Bastine, Noah Wyville, and Xander Williams brought home gold medals, while Josiah Guevarra had a strong showing bringing home a silver.
“We had a good tournament; the kids boxed extremely well,” said Club President Tom Hennessey. “We were a little disappointed that we didn’t get more bouts for some of the other kids.”
The club had originally entered 15 kids, Hennessy noted, but due to a reduction in registration this year, could only get bouts for four fighters.
A development tournament, the Brampton Cup has been a launching pad for many careers, with many boxers moving on to represent Canada in the Olympics or turning professional.
Some well known names have compete in the tournament’s 41-year history, including former World Champion Lennox Lewis, and many others.
The event began in 1989 as the Roddy Macdonald Tournament and was later renamed to the Brampton Cup after being taken over by Bramela Club.
“Right now we have a pile of dedicated kids,” Hennessey said of the local club’s success.
“We’ve got as many dedicated kids as I have ever had in the club. I am impressed with the amount of dedication they are showing.”
Hennessey credits his club’s dedication to training and sparring for their success, adding he’s just the ‘tour director' — it’s his fighters doing all the work.
Melodia Bastine who boxed in the 48 KG weight class, went up against Karley Cannella from the No Excuse Boxing Club in Hamilton and had a very sound bout, winning Gold.
Xander Williams drew Prabhvir Lidhar in the semi finals and won by walkover as Pravhvir did not want to fight Williams.
“The guy walked in the ring, and said he wasn’t fighting,” Hennessey said of Lidhar. “He saw Xander fight the week before, when he saw him he said, ‘I’m not fighting him.’”
In the finals, Williams drew Gavin MacIsaac from the Top Glove Boxing Club in Sudbury; Williams took this bout by unanimous decision bringing home a gold.
Josiah Guevarra in the 63 KG weight class, drew Tashfin Hassan from Pasteraro’s Boxing Club in the semi finals. Josiah boxed a superb bout, stopping Hassan in the first round due to 8-counts.
Guevarra met Aaron Volman from TNT Boxing Club, after a hard fought bout, Guevarra would return home sporting a silver medal.
Noah Wyville competed in the 57KG weight class. In his semi final fight, Wyville was matched up with Cassius Duggal. The fight was back and forth, with both fighters scoring an 8-count, with Wyville coming away with a much deserved win.
In the finals, Wyville faced David Johnson out of the No Excuse Boxing Club. In another hard fought battle, Wyville displayed true grit and strength to put down his opponent in the second round due to 8-counts, securing another gold medal for the Bluewater Boxing Club.
“Real tough kid” Said Hennessey of Wyville. “He gave him an 8-count, then knocked him down again for another 8-count to take gold.”
Hennessey says now, the focus shifts to their upcoming club shows, as well as the Nationals in Calgary, which Xander Williams and Mike White have qualified for.
“The 20th of March, both those kids qualified for nationals,” says Hennessey. “We’re gonna be doubling up on training over the next little while to get them ready.”
“Mike has a great chance and Xander is a bit of an anomaly, he’s brand new, but he is going to do well,” Hennessey told the Journal of his two qualified boxers.
“We are extremely proud of our team,” he added. “With many club shows coming up and Mike White and Xander Williams traveling to the junior and youth Nationals in March the club will stay very busy over the coming months.”