Two Victoria athletes won gold medals at the B.C. Boxing Provincials in Abbotsford over the weekend and qualified them to compete at the 2019 Super Channel National Championships at Bear Mountain in April.
Terris Smith and Brandon Colantino won gold in their respective divisions, Smith in featherweight (57 kilograms) and Colantino in heavyweight (81 kgs). Smith was also named boxer of the tournament.
“They have a really busy road from now until April to get ready,” said Jason Heit, their coach with Island Boxing. “It’s a lot of travel coming up to get the tough competition in matches, and sparring, that they need.”
The national championships return to B.C. for the first time since 2009 and will take place on the 21,000 square-feet tennis courts at Bear Mountain, covered by a dome.
For Smith and Colantino, the provincial titles are the first hurdle towards making the national team. Beyond that is a shot at the Olympics.
Three more Island fighters, heavyweight Mitch DeMone, lightweight Sara Moores and lightweight Anthony Varela can also qualify for nationals by challenging, or defending, the second seed for nationals. Those “box-offs” are Jan. 25 and Feb. 7 on the mainland.
DeMone won his second match but settled for silver after losing to Sam Moses in the final. DeMone earns the second spot to represent B.C. at the nationals. Moores was unable to fight but Heit believes she has proved enough to earn a “box-off” for a spot at nationals.
Varela is also in a position to challenge the No. 2 seed after he fought but lost by split decision to five time national champion Cody Brown.
It was a big win for Smith, Heit said.
“That was a tough fight against the silver medalist at nationals last year, a split decision, a close fight,” Heit said.
Heavyweight Braden Horcroff won his first fight but lost by decision to the reigning B.C. champ.