Brett Adams entered Fight Night 9 with a plan, but you know what they say about plans in the boxing ring.
The Nelson Boxing Club athlete had expected to take his time against Ben Toweler of Kelowna’s Los Gatos Locos Boxing. That changed the moment the bell rang.
“He starts throwing these big haymakers and I said, let’s go then. But as you can see,” Adams said between gasps for air, “I’m not made to do that.”
A throw down may not have been Adams’ hope for the bout, but he still managed to earn a unanimous decision against Toweler to win Saturday’s main event at the Nelson Rod and Gun Club.
The raucous finale to the 84-kilogram Elite Novice fight began with Adams and Toweler trading punches in the first round.
“(Toweler) didn’t hit ferociously hard, but when he landed you knew about it,” said Adams.
In the second Adams took control with a hard cross to Toweler’s forehead and a number of swinging hooks that had his opponent on his heels.
Toweler repositioned to the centre of the ring in the final round, forcing Adams into the ropes. But the Nelson boxer landed the harder punches when it counted.
When the decision was announced, Adams went to the ropes and pointed to a tattoo on his right arm of his mother, who passed away in December. Adams dedicated the fight to her.
“In February I decided I wanted to keep her close to me, so I put a tattoo of her on my arm. This is my last fight, I promised her it’s my last fight.”
The 11-bout card featured fighters from Nelson, Kelowna, Abbotsford Mission Boxing, the Cranbrook Eagles, Edmonton’s Marshall Boxing and Rip City Boxing from Portland, Ore.
There was little between Edmonton’s Joshua Ofri vs. Portland’s Jamari Etherly, fighting at 69-kg Elite Open in the penultimate bout of the night. Etherly finished the first round strong with a combination that landed, but Ofri opened the second with a hard hook to Etherly’s head.
Etherly seemingly took advantage in the final round by controlling the centre of the ring, backing Ofri into the ropes several times and finding room to work on the body. But the judges scored it for Ofri, who left the ring with a split-decision win.
A tentative first two rounds between Nelson’s Matt Brown and Kelowna’s Jack Nelson gave way to a barnburner in the third, and the 70-kg Elite Novice fight ended in a split decision for Brown.
Kelowna’s Dante Ortiz, fighting at 57-kg Junior C Novice, used a mix of effective combos to keep Cranbrook’s Connor Ferrier off balance in an entertaining exhibition. Ortiz twice pounced on Ferrier with a left-handed hook that connected each time and drew cheers from the crowd. But Ferrier didn’t go quietly and managed several head shots in the third, with Ortiz needing a moment after slipping on the canvas.
Edmonton’s Jamie Monaghan earned a stoppage against Cranbrook’s Jaron Ewasiuk in a 54-kg Junior C Novice fight. Monaghan was especially aggressive in the final round with a cross that bloodied Ewasiuk for the unanimous decision.
Nelson’s Porter Hansen stalked Abbotsford Mission Boxing’s Saul Aspinal around the ring in a 56.8 kg Junior C Novice bout. Hansen’s relentlessness paid off, and his smacking hook to the side of Aspinal’s head in the second round gave him further momentum. Aspinal rallied in the third with a cross to Hansen’s nose and a series of body shots against the ropes, but Hansen still earned a unanimous decision.
Nelson’s Wamuna Fukada and Portland’s Chris Uribe were game in a 54-kg Junior C exhibition. The loose fight was all offence — neither boxer seemed interesting in protecting themselves — and both appeared gassed after putting on a show. Fukada prevailed with a split decision that must have been razor-thin on the judges’ cards.
At Fight Night 8 in October 2021, Kelowna’s Donovan Cridland put on a show with a victory in the main event. On Saturday he faced Nelson’s Riel Martinez, who overcame a height and reach disadvantage by working inside. Martinez pressured Cridland into the ropes with body shots, while Cridland countered with head shots. The 67-kg Junior C exhibition ended with no winner, which seemed somehow anticlimactic after such a technical bout.
Edmonton’s Troy Kemick used strong inside jabs to earn a unanimous win against Nelson’s Will Adams in a 53-kg Junior B Novice bout.
In junior matches, Cranbrook’s Teigan Seymour boxed Portland’s Elias Franco, while Portland’s Anthony Uribe took on Kelowna’s Ethan Barker.
The only significant injury of the night wasn’t to a fighter. In the first bout, Seymour and Franco accidentally knocked over an official who broke her arm in the fall. She was assessed by a doctor and drew cheers by remaining on hand to keep score.