For hometown boxer Shawn McDonald, under the bright, warm ring lights at the Coast Hotel and Convention Centre, it was a case of mission accomplished.
The Walnut Grove resident has overcome many hurdles, but at this moment sits on top of the local boxing scene after winning the B.C. super welterweight (154-pound) title Friday.
McDonald won the title with a decision over Daniel Joseph of Kelowna in the main event of Raging Bulls, the 17th instalment of the Clash at the Cascades amateur boxing series.
A couple of years ago, McDonald won the B.C. welterweight (147-pound) crown.
This latest outing was a solid victory for McDonald, who won all five rounds, according to two of the three judges.
Joseph, who fights out of the Madkatz Boxing Club, had taken the vacant title by winning a split decision over McDonald last March in Kelowna.
"I saw it during the training camp," McDonald's trainer and Clash matchmaker Dave Allison said. "Shawn was stepping up. I remember Denny Ross telling me years ago, 'Boxers don't gradually improve - they jump a level.' Denny was right and Shawn has jumped a level."
Langley City Boxing coach James Allison has spent a large part of the last two months working with Brandon Shorter, a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, looking to improve his boxing skills. Shorter took on a very game, very tough Caleb Weitzel from Blue Corner Boxing and won a unanimous decision.
Shorter, who represents Revolution, "had a solid performance and will likely box again," says the younger Allison.
In the Semi Main Event, Brandon Busby, 19, of Le Stage Boxing from Parksville took on City champion Kylic Taylor from White Rock's Ocean City Boxing in a super middleweight elimination bout. It was an action-packed affair with Taylor winning the decision and the opportunity to go up against North Burnaby's David Robinson for the B.C. super middleweight (186-pound) title.
In an upset, City heavyweight champion Ritchie Evanochko of Port Kells lost by decision to North Burnaby's Adam Querido in a three-round, non-title fight.
An explosive, emotional lightweight tilt saw 19-year-old Raj Somal from Surrey's Bisla Martial Arts win a unanimous decision over Cole Beers of Madkatz Boxing.
The show was not without controversy when the crowd showed displeasure over a decision.
Josh Van Ryan of Richmond's Harrison Boxing lost his bout with Garnett Samuels of Contenders, a Vancouver club, via split decision.
"The welterweight fight was competitive, however it had appeared Van Ryan had won the fight," Dave Allison said.
Russ Lavery of Port Kells won a lightweight contest over Lev Jackson of Warriors Boxing in a rematch of a bout that took place in April. This time it was much closer with one judge giving the fight to Jackson.
Tim Stephenson of Port Kells and Remy Lavoie of North Burnaby both saw their first official ring action, and the nod went to Lavoie.
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