Dan Allaire and David Murphy duke it out at the inaugural Boxing for Change event at the Nav Centre. (Robert Lefebvre)
CORNWALL, Ontario - Is Cornwall destined to become a boxing town? With tangible excitement filling the Nav Centre at this Saturday's inaugural Boxing for Change event - it seems the city may really be hooked.
A boxing event 13 months in the making, city councillor David Murphy faced off against local radio personality, Dan Allaire in support of Champs Eastside Boxing Club and the Cornwall Children’s Treatment Centre.
World Class Heavyweight, Gerry Cooney was the event’s guest speaker, weighing in on the headlining fight, and his life in boxing.
“You’ve got to be in tip-top shape when that bell rings,” said Cooney. “The secret is to bring the confidence you learn in the ring into your everyday life.”
The event featured a total of eight bouts of Olympic style amateur boxing, which Cooney noted ‘reminded him of the past.’
It was anyone’s fight during the three intense rounds, with Murphy throwing some healthy blows and Allaire working hard to tire him out. Allaire found his fire at the tail end of the first round against his winded opponent.
By the second round, Murphy gathered himself for a relentless attack on Allaire, who had to work to dodge and block Murphy’s attempts.
By the third and final round, Allaire seemed to be on top, throwing some mean blows against a visibly drained Murphy. In the end, however, Murphy was victorious.
Having trained alongside Murphy for over a year, Allaire says that ‘there’s no shame in losing to Dave.’
“I never thought I’d get in a ring,” said Allaire. “But I’m glad I did.”
Throughout those 13 gruelling months, the two trained under the skilled instruction of Champs’ Jorge Luis.
“It turned out a lot better than I thought,” laughed Luis. “I put a little water in my wine when it came to my expectations, but they did good.”
Hometown hero, Tony Luis was also on hand as an official during the fight, and says he’s proud of the two for their first and last appearance in the ring.
“They fought pretty well for big boys,” said Luis.
Following his win, Murphy said his respect for the sport has grown significantly throughout his training.
“I’ve got so much respect for the guys and gals at that gym, but it starts with Jorge and Elaine,” said Murphy. “All the trainers, all the competitors, everyone who’s here tonight.”
“We went round and round, toe-to-toe, pound for pound,” said Murphy, waxing poetic. “And at the end of the day, we gave it all we had, and if nothing else, it was for both our dads.”