Fans, fighters draw close for Summer Slugfest V

Bay Street Armoury an intimate venue for Summer Slugfest V

Kickboxer Alex Tribe

Kickboxer Alex Tribe

Armoury an intimate venue for Summer Slugfest V

When Alex Tribe steps into the ring inside the Bay Street Armoury on Saturday night, he won’t feel alone.

Fans who crowd the armoury’s upper landing for Summer Slugfest V have the opportunity of a bird’s eye view just metres above the ring. Tribe will go toe-to-toe with Jason “the Jackal” Szakal of Kamloops for the International Kickboxing Federation’s junior Canadian welterweight belt.

“We had it here 15 years ago and fighters said it was like the crowd was right on top of them, right in the ring,” said Slugfest organizer Stan Peterec. “You don’t get that intimate of an event anywhere.”

Fighting for his second national title in a matter of months is a quick turn of events for Tribe.

Three months ago the 19-year-old Saanich kid stepped in as a late opponent against local karate instructor Leigh Mueller, and won.

The match was supposed to give 29-year-old Mueller a shot at the ISKA belt until Tribe took the fight.

“Winning the (International Kickboxing Sport Association) was an eye-opener, especially coming in late,” Tribe said.

“Everybody respects Mueller. This time I’ve been training even harder. I’m ready.”

Tribe should be quicker and more technical than Szakal. According to Peterec, Szakal will be bigger and carry a bit more power.

It’s the headline match out of 14 amateur kickboxing, boxing and mixed martial arts fights. The night also features a king of the ring kickboxing tournament that will see one fighter emerge from four.

Slugfest is an annual event for Peterec but it’s been 15 years since he held an event at the armoury.

“People ask why we don’t go in the big arenas. This has atmosphere unlike anything.”

Doors open at 6 p.m., fights start at 7 p.m.

Slugfest card

Boxing: Joel Conway vs. Terry Strawson

Ben Lee vs. Raj Somal

Brian Colwell vs. Tyler Clarke

Joe Walker vs. Palvir Atwal

MMA: Josh Williams vs. Dan Laughey

Parker Lang vs. A. Diaz

Ron Pears vs. Dillon Brown

Sanjeev Sharma vs. Tom McCormick

Kickboxing: David Lee vs. Navid Mirzary

Rob Doerksen vs. Lancy Robertson

Kickboxing king of the ring: Chase Ingalls, Corey Hastings, Ian Rozylo, Todd Mabbot.