Simon Gauthier and Adam Sutherland won’t be winning Gold Gloves any time soon. But they hope the three minutes they spent in the ring Saturday will make a difference worth getting punched in the face a few times.
Gauthier, who works at Sacred Ride, and Sutherland, a Nelson police officer, fought in the main event of Fight Night 5 after raising $3,500 for the Nelson and District Women’s Centre.
Neither Gauthier nor Sutherland had previously boxed before. While their fight was far from the most technically impressive of the 11-bout card, it was the one that drew the loudest roars at the Nelson Rod and Gun Club.
Gauthier won the match and was later grinning as blood dripped from his nose.
“(Sutherland) put on the engine, I was ready for more,” said Gauthier. “It ended up working in the end. … It was good, I felt really happy.”
Sutherland said once he was in the ring he didn’t pay much attention to a rowdy crowd that featured plenty of officers from the Nelson Police Department.
“Simon gave me no choice but to tune out the audience. It was loud. He was certainly more intense than I was expecting. He had a much faster pace than I was expecting. That was hard to adjust to. He’s a tough guy.”
The fight was always secondary for the pair. Gauthier said previous Fight Nights sponsored by Sacred Ride had inspired him to get in the ring, and he was motivated by the idea of raising money for the women’s centre.
“If all of us can do a little bit, and it helps to do it as a group, then small people become big people and all of a sudden we can help people through rough times in life. I was lucky enough to have a lot of people on my side in life to help me through rough shit and any time I can give back, that’s the best thing.”
Gauthier said he’ll likely fight again. Sutherland? Not so much.
“I’m pretty proud of the contribution that we made to an organization that I understand definitely needs the money and can do good with that money,” said Sutherland. “I’m pretty happy with that. Even though I didn’t win, I still feel the two of us came out on top by virtue of having raised so much for a good cause.”
The most entertaining bout of the night was between Nelson’s Samson Berkeley and Nanaimo’s Jerome Leroyer.
Berkeley came out throwing in the first round, but Leroyer reasserted himself in the second and tagged Berkeley with several snappy jabs. A three-punch combo by Leroyer in the third put Berkeley on the ropes, and led to the visitor winning a split decision in the 138-pound Junior C fight.
Meanwhile, Nelson’s Elias Martinez earned a unanimous decision against North Vancouver’s Jonathan Hannah in a 154-pound Junior C bout that was more evenly matched than the result implied.
Martinez’s younger brother Riel also won earlier in the card, taking a unanimous decision against a familiar opponent in Cranbrook’s Dylan Muhlig in the 100-pound Junior B fight.
The lone women’s fight saw North Vancouver’s Nyousha Nakjiri win unanimously against Spokane’s Nicole Branstader.
Surrey’s Ijaaz Faheem scored the lone knockout of the evening in a 150 Senior bout. He overwhelmed Fernie’s Dylan Mitchell into the second round that led to an eight-count and the referee waving off Mitchell, who wasted little time leaving the ring.
North Vancouver’s Aaron Madriaga earned a split decision over Nelson’s Max Berkeley, who came on just a bit too late to challenge his opponent in the 140 Junior B fight.
Exhibition fights included Nelson’s Brendan McIntyre taking on Nanaimo’s Josh Grossgardt; Dustin Allenby and Jonathon Mackay facing off in an all-Nelson bout; Nelson’s Stryder Sutton against Cranbrook’s Connor Ferrier; and Nelson’s Makalu Babbot matching up against Cranbrook’s Dawson Canning.