‘Combat at the Complex’ records KO with fans

By Joel Charron

Saturday Night was fight night in the Burg as Fighting Island Boxing Club presented “Combat at the Complex” at the United Communities Credit Union Complex.

The nine-bout fight card featured four local fighters and boasted a main event of Windsor fighter and three-time world champion Mary Spencer take on five-time national champion Malinda Watpool.

Watpool pressured Spencer all fight and looked very impressive at times, keeping Spencer on the defensive. As the fight wore won Spencer began to find her range but Watpool refused to back down and kept pressing the action.

At the end of four rounds it was Spencer who picked up the win with a split decision.

“I think it was a good fight. Malinda is a really good opponent,” said Spencer.

Fighting Island’s Tyson Whalen (right) landed a thunderous right hook that put Dewith Gym fighter Joshua Fraser on the canvas. Despite the early setback, Fraser would wind up winning the bout via referee stoppage.

Spencer added the United Communities Credit Union Complex was a good venue to fight. She also noted that although it was nice to fight in front of her friends and family it adds a little more to the fight.

“It’s always good to fight at home,” she said. “It definitely adds pressure and some fighters like it and some don’t but you’ve got to do it so your family isn’t the only ones to see you fight.”

Earlier in the evening, Fighting Island’s Tyson Whalen entered the ring for the first time against Dewith Gym’s Joshua Frazer.

Whalen set the pace early with a number of flurries and dropped Frazer with a thunderous right hook.

Frazer recovered and shook off his early set back and proceeded to record a standing eight count against Whalen and eventually have the fight stopped in Frazer’s favor.

“I think I did pretty decent,” said Whalen. “My coaches are awesome. I think I just need to be in the gym more. I’ve only been doing this for 10 months, but I’m going to be in the gym everyday so this (a loss) doesn’t happen.”

Noram “The Pitbull” Lechance was also in action, but because his originally opponent suffered an ankle injury, his fight against East Windsor’s John Charlton was downgraded to an exhibition fight.

Both fighters were declared winners.

“I thought it was a close fight,” said Lechance. “When my originally opponent went down, I was asked if I wanted to fight an exhibition fight. I just wanted to fight in front of my hometown.”

Fight of the Night honours went to Nick “The Grim Reaper” Grimaldi with his dominated win over Dewith Gym fighter Joe Tonna.

From opening bell Grimaldi’s overwhelming style seemed to intimidate the taller fighter. Grimaldi bullied Tonna all over the ring, not letting the slender fighter out of his sights and eventually put Tonna on the canvas.

The Grim Reaper ended the fight in the second round when the referee jumped after Tonna faced a wicked flurry.

“I was confident in my conditioning, I was confident in my training, I was confident in the people I sparred with,” he Grimaldi. “I knew I could go in there and push the pace to try and break him.”

Grimaldi said he felt he fought “1,000 times better” than his last fight in Harrow a few months ago and credits that to just being “more comfortable” and also added that being in his hometown definitely helped give him that “edge.”

Fighting Island’s Anthony Mulder also saw action against Atlas Gym’s Istvan Bordas. Fans barely got to see the talented, young Mulder when Bordas landed a crippling body shot that stopped the fight.

Fighting Island president Joe LeBlanc said he was happy with the turnout; estimating approximately 250 people attended the event. LeBlanc raved on the professionalism of the complex’s staff stating that everyone had been “absolutely fabulous” to work with.

LeBlanc also added the complex’s “wow” factor really impressed spectators who set foot in the complex for the first time.

‘Everyone loved it,” said LeBlanc. “The dressing rooms are much nicer than the fighters are used to.”

Representatives from Boxing Ontario and Canadian Amateur Boxing Association were in attendances with LeBlanc hopeful of eventually bringing boxing tournaments to Amherstburg.

“All and all it was a great night and everyone had fun,” said LeBlanc.

Fight results

1- Chris Damiani (East Windsor) defeated Provis Tongo (Atlas)

2- Aaron Cho (Atlas) defeated James Moore (East Windsor)

3- Joshua Fraser (Dewith Gym) defeated Tyson Whalen (Fighting Island)

4- Noram Lechance (Fighting Island) and John Charlton (East Windsor) fough in exhibhition fight.

5- Jocelyn Guenette (WABC) defeated Shayneisha Kelly (Atlas)

6- Nick Grimaldi (Fighting Island) deffeated Joe Tonna (Dewith Gym)

7- Mason Blyth (WABC) defeated Max Biszi (Big Tyme)

8- Istvan Bordas (Atlas) defeated Anthony Mulder (Fighting Island)

9- Mary Spencer (WABC) defeated Malinda Watpool (Dewith Gym)

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