Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting

James Hurst

Last Saturday night, professional boxing made a return to the Quinte area. It has been twenty years since we have seen a prize fight in these parts. Steve Molitor

Certainly, it is not for everyone. I asked a few people prior to the fight if they might be attending. One friend said that he would pass on the event because it was too violent. He stated that every time a boxer was hit that it might result in a concussion. I do not doubt that he is right.

Personally, I have always enjoyed prize fighting. I think it involves the “King of the Castle” syndrome. In simple terms, it is a carefully orchestrated battle between two equally matched human beings, stripped to shorts and shoes---T shirts for the ladies, of course. No weapons, no place to hide, no opportunity to cheat, as is the case in professional wrestling. Mano a mano. One of the three classic conflicts-man against man.

It is indeed violent, and there are going to be injuries in every fight. That is the nature of the beast.

There were five preliminary bouts and a main event. Belleville’s own Harrison “Harry” King McBain fought Jorge Banos, a Mexican who fights out of Montreal in the last bout of the evening.

There were the usual elements of fanfare throughout the evening. The first fight was between Ray Kovinic, a well-tattooed scowl-faced pug from Niagara Falls, and a bruising fan favourite from Whitby. Brock Arthur was paraded into the ring with his entourage including bagpipes. The kilt and tunes were helpful, as he bested Kovinic before the bell of the first round had rung.

The third fight also pleased the crowd. Scott “The Spark” Paul from Niagara Falls won the fashion prize of the night with bright red socks and shoes. He sensed by the third round that he had a battle on his hands with a wild swinging African fighter, Aboualye Coulibay, who also fought out of Montreal. His haymakers rarely landed, but were treated with respect by Paul. Coulibay did receive a standing eight count, rare in professional boxing, at the end of the fourth round. Paul won unanimously.

Two ladies entered the ring for the fourth bout. Lindsay Garbatt won on a TKO in the fourth round over Lucia Larcinese of Montreal. Lucia protested the referee’s decision to stop the bout; however, she had been beaten to the punch throughout the fight, and would have lost decisively on the three judges’ cards.

The longest fight of the night, six rounds featured a pair of light middleweight boxers. Phil “The Sudbury Sensation” Boudreault squared off against Tebor Brosch from Mississauga. Even though Brosch was the aggressor throughout the fight, the brawler from the north won a close unanimous decision.

For many fight fans, one of the highlights of the evening was to see the International Boxing Federation super bantamweight champion at the event. Steve Molitor entertained the crowd with an interview between bouts, and also worked the corner for Boudreault. He was completely involved in the bout, shouting encouragement, ragging the ref about low blows, cooling off his fighter between rounds.

Molitor has a record of 27-0 as a professional. He regularly fights at Casino Rama before six thousand fans. He last fought April 5, 2008, and defeated Fernando Beltran at Rama in a twelve round unanimous decision.

King-McBain had a large group of supporters at the event, and responded with a very respectable effort to defeat Banos in the four round lightweight event. Two judges scored the fight as a draw, while the third judge gave the nod to Harry. King-McBain is a southpaw, moved in and out of the range of Banos quickly, and battled the distance.

Most of us shielded our eyes as beautiful leggy women paraded around the round numbers between the rounds. There were former boxing greats in attendance---Belleville’s own Sean O’Sullivan and Patty McWilliams. Lisa Brown paraded her world championship belt. Spider Jones, who often offers his opinions on the “Off the Record” show on TSN supplied dialogue between rounds.

Officials decked out in blue blazers with Ontario Boxing Council crests circled the ring. There was the mandatory fight doctor in attendance. At the end of each round the fighters returned to the corners to have their wounds sealed, to be mopped down, greased, towelled, and returned to the fray. Belleville’s own Jack Miller did an admirable job as the ring announcer. Promoter Tyler Buxton received rave reviews for the event.

It was fight night in Belleville, long overdue.

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