The Nelson Boxing Club is for amateur and recreational boxing but the athletes involved are just as dedicated as their professional counterparts.
Athletes like Jeff Emmett, 38, have been training at the club with coach and boxer Jesse Pineiro. Emmett has had a great season, winning the Inland Northwest Boxing Championship in Spokane, where he scored a second round TKO in his first fight and a hard fought unanimous decision in the final.
“He trains very hard and is an extremely dedicated athlete,” said Pineiro.
Emmett’s hard work brought him to the bronze gloves as part of the Legacy Games (a multi-sport event) in Kamloops on July 5, a provincial championship for novice boxers. Athletes with fewer than 10 fights are classified as novice and Emmett fought in the 75 kg division.
The fight ended quickly as Emmett took what is called a “flash knock down,” when a boxer loses consciousness for a split second.
“If you go down in amateur fight, they stop the fight at the end of a punch like that,” said Pineiro. The right hand over the jab was a lucky shot for Emmett’s opponent Anthony Haines as the same type of punch won Haines the tournament.
While Emmett said he was disappointed at the time, the experience was worth it. He likes boxing for its intensity. “It requires an emotional control,” he said. “You need to remain cool under pressure. If you get mad, it doesn’t help you. It’s a good life lesson. When there is a strong opponent across from you, you have to keep relaxed and calm.”
“Boxing is a chance to have a real experience, which is rare for men. A real experience, a real competition. Boxing is very formal in its governance.”
He skill trains three times per week with the club and does extra cardio workouts when training for a competition.
He explained that once a boxer registers, medical reviews are done once per year. For boxers over 35, a medical is done one week before the competition, immediately before the fight and another following. Emmett thinks this is a good thing, as was the 30 day sparring suspension he received after his July 5 temporary knock out even though he felt fine. He was out for a split second but that was enough.
“Concussions are serious. I went down to my knees and got right back up. I have friends who crack their helmets mountain biking, which is a greater impact than from a padded glove, and they keep on going.” He said he appreciates the sport’s officials regulating the risk.
Pineiro could not say enough about Emmett’s energy. “He has improved a lot. The preparation lasts months. Ninety-nine per cent of the time is spent training and the fight is just nine minutes.” (There are three two minute rounds with a one minute break between round.)
“How you deal with the pressure during the fight is key. One punch can change everything. The organization is very professional and safe. If you lose consciousness for even a split second, a fight is called off. [Officials] don’t want people to take repetitive head punches. It’s very regulated.”
The club is taking August off but it will start up in September again and new members are always welcome to join. Nelson Boxing Club has moved to 646 Baker Street (underneath the Dollar Store) and their training times are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Pineiro said boxing builds character and gets you in shape with the lateral and torso movements. “You have to really work hard for something and boxing has that challenge that let’s you know what you’re really capable of,” he said.