BY SCOTT HUNTER HADDOW
The bell rings and two boxers come out hard and fast from their corners. There?s a flurry of jabs and hooks.
Boom! a big right hook lands squarely on one of the competitors and he drops to one knee. He fails to stand up again and is counted out by the referee. The bell rings again and the Canadian National Anthem is played, while the victor stands proudly in the middle of the ring.
This scenario isn?t from the Summer Olympics Games in some far off exotic country, it?s international boxing at its absolute best and right here in Sudbury.
On Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 pm at the Steelworker?s Hall, the Ontario National Training Centre (ONTC) will be hosting a fight night featuring several local boxers against boxers from Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Irish boxing team will first travel to Quebec to take on boxers from our friendly French neighbour in early October. The team will then travel to Sudbury to scrap it out with ONTC boxers.
ONTC head coach, Gord Apolloni is looking forward to the event.
?I?ve known the president of the Irish Boxing Association, Pat McCrory since 1990 and he will be here,? said Apolloni. ?It will be good to see him again.?
Apolloni knows the Irish boxers will be solid competitors and knows the matches will be a tremendous benefit to all his boxers.
?This will give our boxers experience against European boxers,? said Apolloni. ?European boxers have a different style of fighting compared to North American boxers and it will be great exposure for our guys to learn from.?
The high-level competition will be great for the contingent of young Canadian boxers.
?It?s good for our young boxers just to watch and learn from these matches,? said Apolloni.
The European style is vastly different from the Canadian style most often based on heart, grit and determination.
?We?re more pro-oriented here and the Europeans are more technical,? said Apolloni. ?The Europeans have more finesse, but they?re not pushovers.?
There will be a minimum of 10 bouts during the evening.
?This is phenomenal for Sudbury because it?s not very often we get to hold International Olympic-style boxing,? said Apolloni. ?Our guys are ready and there will be some exciting boxing that evening.?
Three Sudbury-area natives will be in tough against Irish boxers. For them, it?s a tremendous opportunity to test
their pugilistic abilities.
Eric Perrier, 20, is looking forward to meeting his Irish opponent. He has never faced a boxer from Ireland. Perrier has been out of the ring for a while and he?s anxious to get back in.
?It?s been a couple of months since my last fight, so I am definitely looking forward to getting back in,? said Perrier. ?This adds to my experience and hopefully I?ll come out with the win.?
Ryan Ranelli, 18, will also be facing international competition for the first time. The veteran of 30 fights has trained hard for the competition.
?I?ve been training twice a day and I hope all my hard work pays off,? said Ranelli. ?This will be different and I will do my best.?
Adam Heeley, 17, knows this experience will serve him well in future endeavours. He has seven fights to his credit and it will be the first time he squares off against an international boxer. ?This is good for training because they have a different style and it helps you prepare for the international level,? said the southpaw. ?I do want to
go to the international level and I hope this helps.?