Champs Eastside Boxing Club attended the annual Ontario Open Boxing Championships in Windsor, ON. Representing champs was Mitch Blais in the open men’s 64 kg division and Phil Hoftyzer representing in the men’s open 81 kg division. First up to bat on opening night ceremonies was Mitch Blais who squared off with Lestor Gray of Kombat Arts of Mississauga, ON. Mitch got off to a slow start and ran into some good punches from Lestor in the first round, falling behind on points early. In the second round, Mitch stayed in the middle of the ring forcing Lestor to lead and began countering well and closed the score gap some. Coach Jorge Luis urged Mitch to go for broke in the third and last round against a now-tiring Lestor. Mitch had a good last round but Lestor still maintained a slight points lead at the end. Final score was 19–13 for Lestor. A very close bout. Lestor was a tall, fast, well-schooled boxer and very talented. Lestor went on to get a bronze medal. Next was Phil Hoftyzer. In his first fight on Friday, Oct. 30, Phil squared off with former amateur standout Tim Cronin of Belleville, ON. Tim was on the comeback trail and in his third comeback bout, the last one being a victory. The bout got off to a slow start with both boxers feeling each other out with jabs. Midway through the round they began to exchange more and the bout was turning out to be very even. Late in the first, Phil doubled up his jab taking Cronin to the ropes, then doubled up on a left-right combo. The last (fourth) punch caught Cronin square on the chin putting him down. Tim was unable to beat the 10-count thus giving Phil a first-round knockout victory. On Saturday night, Phil Hoftyzer faced Ahmad Maki of Mississauga. The first round saw Phil off to a slow start and looking tight. In the second, Phil began throwing more punches and the action was close; however, on the computer, Ahmad was pulling way ahead. Seems like body punches don’t count for much in international computer scoring. Very much behind in what seemed to be a closer bout, Coach Luis sent Phil out bombing in the last round. Phil was outthrowing Ahmad three or four shots to one or two, but could not seem to move the scoreboard. With less than a minute to go, Ahmad caught Phil with a good left hand to the body followed by a right to the head that was a glancing blow partially blocked by Phil. The referee called a halt, administered a protective eight-count, then with Phil in his stance with his guard up, stopped the bout. Coach Jorge Luis protested but to no avail. The bout seemed much closer than the computer score of 24–7 indicated. However, the judgment call has to be respected and cannot be reversed. Nevertheless, Phil was a gold medallist at the Ontario Novice Championships and earned himself a bronze medal at the open championships, all in the space of one month in the same calendar year. Next year, better, stronger, faster, more success. As for Mitch Blais, Mitch is capable of giving anybody in Ontario or Canada a run for his money in his weight division. Mitch needs more training and experience. Good things come to those who wait and show perseverance and determination. On another note, Chad Campeau, 180 lbs., 22 years of age, represented Champs in his sixth career bout in Watertown, NY. Chad reversed an earlier loss to Oliver Sloan of Troy, NY. Sloan was last year’s New York State Light-heavyweight Novice Golden Gloves champ. Chad kept a high guard and used fast jabs followed by pulverizing body shots to wear down Oliver, administering two standing eight-counts in the last round to gain a unanimous three-round decision. It was a sweet victory for Chad, avenging a previous disappointing loss. Chad showed much improvement in this bout as his performance indicated.
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