Before Mixed Martial Arts was all the rage, boxing was the combat sport to watch.
“Boxing is more of a head game, you only have two weapons. Just two things to attack with,” said amateur boxer Jordan Baird, 22, who trains at Olsen’s Gym in Colwood. “With MMA there is so much coming at you with kicks, punches and takedowns. In boxing we have two weapons and we have to use them right and know how to use combos.”
Even with 28 fights and two national championships under his belt, Baird admits, “It doesn’t get any easier, you just have to control your nerves. I always get the jitters right up until the bell.”
The electrician has been competing in the ring since 2006
“He’s a mover-puncher, meaning he hits you and them have moves,” said coach Nathan Olsen.
Baird weighs in at 69 kilograms and Olsen figures he has a very good chance at dominating the welterweight category B.C. Boxing Provincial Championships at Olsen’s this weekend. Fighters who win in their division will qualify to compete in nationals in Regina Oct. 22 to 26.
Provincials will provide a first fight for 16-year-old Liam O’Brien.
“I don’t know what to expect, “ said the Metchosin Technical Institute student.
O’Brien hopes one day to compete in MMA bouts, but for now he is an amateur boxer who also trains in kung-fu.
Tailor Meszaros, 19, is gearing up for his second fight.
His plan is to “hit him first instead of waiting for him to hit me,” said the 2012 Belmont secondary grad.
Seven of the fighters who train at Olsen’s Gym four or five days a week will duke it out at provincials. More than 65 pugilists from across the province are registered to compete.
All of the bouts are amateur and the boxers will wear headgear.
“Wearing headgear or not doesn’t make a difference,” Olsen said. “A helmet only protects you from getting cuts or concussions. If you get punched in the face, you will still get a broken nose.”
Each competitor has the opportunity to fight all three days unless they are cut and don’t pass the medical, Olsen explained. By wearing the headgear they are more likely able to fight for the entire weekend.
Another difference between amateur and professional boxing is the amateurs weigh in the day of each fight. Pros weigh in a day before and often rapidly lose weight to meet class restrictions.
Money raised from the event will go towards covering the travel expenses for future competitions.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children.
Bouts start Friday night at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. and Sunday finals are at noon at the gym, 520 Mt. View Ave.