BRANTFORD – Black-Eye Boxing Club’s fight card held at the Brantford Curling Club in Brantford Saturday was their best boxing event to date.
Despite being held on the same night as the McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather pay-for-view fight, the biggest payday in boxing history, several hundred boxing fans turned up at the Curling club. Many were there to cheer on Six Nations fighter Karl “The Razor” Hess in his last amateur fight before turning pro. Others were on hand to encourage Karl’s cousin, heavyweight Paul Longboat in his first amateur fight, plus 12 other bouts at all ages and weights.
Several fans we spoke to said they were going home after the Brantford fights to meet up with friends around a big screen TV somewhere to watch McGregor and Mayweather.
Either way, it couldn’t have worked out better for promoter Jackie Armor from Black-Eye Boxing.
Hess finished his amateur career with a knock out in the third round over his opponent, while cousin Longboat suffered a loss, but fought well considering his inexperience.
Armor hugged Longboat long and hard after the referee ended the fight in the second round against a more experienced boxer. Longboat was hit hard and took the full impact of the solid blow. The referee decided, since it was Longboat’s first bout, he did not want to see him hurt or discouraged.
“I know he was discouraged at one point in the fight but we got him back on track in the corner and I thought he fought well,” said Armor. “When he looks at the video, he will see a lot of things he did right. I am very proud of him and he will only get better every time out.”
In the main event, Marlon Pacheco, a London fighter, was a replacement for Hess’ initial opponent. It was to be a rematch against Jeffrey Roland, whom Hess beat at the last Black-Eye Boxing card. He suffered a concussion in a recent bout and was not allowed to fight so soon afterwards by Boxing Ontario who sanctioned Saturday’s card so Armor had to scramble to find another boxer who was ready to go.
Pacheco was certainly no slouch, he had good poise in the ring and connected more than twice with hard shots to the head. Hess was ready as well and unwilling to end his amateur career with anything but a win.
Clearly the favourite, Hess entered the ring to the loud applause of his growing fan base, his teammates and his proud Six Nations family.
“I felt pretty good going in,” said Hess after the fight. “He got to me a couple of times but I wasn’t hurt at all.”
Hess will now train harder than he has ever trained before as he gets himself ready for the pros. Armor says he may put him in another amateur fight card before the new year to test his readiness, but as far as Armor and Hess are concerned that first pro fight can’t come fast enough.
1186: Six Nations Karl “the Razor” Hess scored a KO win over London’s Marlon Pacheco Saturday night at the Brantford Curling Club. Hess was the main event in a fight card promoted by the Black-Eye Boxing Club. Photo by Jim Windle
1072: Six Nations’ Paul Longboat got his baptism of fire Saturday night in his first amateur bout for the heavyweight. Although Longboat lost against a much more experienced boxer, he faired well and coach Jackie Armor was proud of his work. Photo by Jim Windle