Brandon French

Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club brings home five gold medals from recent tourney

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Five boxers from Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club travelled to Toronto recently and all came home with gold medals.

The fighters went to the Ontario Bronze Gloves tournament at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel May 26-28, a tournament that saw two rings busy with boxing matches most of the weekend, said Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club owner/coach Joe LeBlanc.

LeBlanc said he didn’t know of any other club that won five gold medals, adding he also didn’t recall another occasion when Fighting Island boxers won five gold medals at a competition.

“It was nice,” said LeBlanc. “There was every gym in the province there. It’s a big deal.”

LeBlanc added there was a 10-count for Stevie Wigle, a fighter from Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club who died April 14. The fighters from Amherstburg fought in Wigle’s memory, he said.

Brandon French, who won gold in the Jr. A 42kg weight class, said he went into the ring nervous but “the bell rang and I knew what I had to do.”

Spencer Quinn, Brandon French, Alexander Weaving, Jesse Hasson and Luca Coppola all won gold at the Ontario Bronze Gloves boxing tournament held the last weekend in May in Toronto. All compete out of Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club. (Special to the RTT)

Spencer Quinn, Brandon French, Alexander Weaving, Jesse Hasson and Luca Coppola all won gold at the Ontario Bronze Gloves boxing tournament held the last weekend in May in Toronto. All compete out of Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club. (Special to the RTT)

French said he fought in memory of Wigle, whom he called a friend.

French’s fight lasted all of 40 seconds and he is now 2-0 in his boxing career. He said he trains every night for about three hours.

Spencer Quinn won gold in the Jr. B 70kg category.

“I actually feel pretty good about it,” said Quinn. “It feels good to come home provincial champ.”

Quinn said he was excited to get into the ring and said he wasn’t nervous very much. He admitted to being a bit “rusty” in the third round to the point where he though he lost it, but ended up winning a unanimous decision.

Jesse Hasson, who won in the Jr. A 42kg weight class, said he was confident he was going to win the fight.
“I went in with a good attitude,” said Hasson.

Hasson said he made his opponent have two standing eight counts while he was not the victim of one himself. He said he was excited about his win “and glad I won the gold.”

Alexander Weaving won gold in the Jr. C open 66kg class while Luca Coppola won in the youth 56kg class. Neither was available for comment when the RTT attended the boxing club last Wednesday night.

Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club does well at Brampton Cup

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A group of seven fighters from Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club all came home with medals from the recent Brampton Cup competition.

Club owner/coach Joe LeBlanc called the Brampton Cup one of the biggest tournaments in Canada, noting it has been running for over 30 years and drew fighters from Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia and New York.

“It’s getting bigger and bigger every year,” he said, noting it uses three rings for three days.

According to LeBlanc, local results saw Brandon French win gold, Jesse Hassen winning bronze, Kaelob Drouillard taking silver, Alex Weaving winning gold, Moise Cercel winning bronze, Luca Coppola winning gold and Tyler St. John Worth winning bronze. Age divisions of the local fighters ranged from 11-years-old to senior fighters in their early 20’s.

“That’s pretty good,” said LeBlanc. “Everybody medalled.”

Brandon French, Jesse Hassen and Moise Cercel were three of the local fighters that did well at the recent Brampton Cup tournament.

Brandon French, Jesse Hassen and Moise Cercel were three of the local fighters that did well at the recent Brampton Cup tournament.

French, Hassen and Cercel were on hand last Monday night training and felt good about how they did.

French said he was nervous heading into his first fight but those nerves went away once he stepped into the ring.

“I knew after I got into the ring that all the hard work paid off,” he said. “I feel that I did pretty well.”

“I think I did pretty well for my first fight,” added Hassen.

Hassen said he is “pretty happy with how I did” though said there is room for improvement. He believes he could have got the gold in his division if he trained a little harder.

“I’m not proud of how I did. I could have done better,” said Cercel. “I should have taken it more seriously and trained harder.”

Cercel said “there’s always another fight” and plans on working harder to ensure he achieves the success he feels he is capable of. He said he enjoys boxing but needs to remember there are other skilled fighters across the ring from him too.

Local boxers do well at provincials

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A group of fighters from Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club returned from the recent provincial tournament with medals.

Moise Cercel lost a split decision in his third fight and came home from Toronto with a bronze medal in the senior 152 lbs. weight class. Caleb Drouillard had two fights and came home with a gold medal in the 132 lbs. weight division.

Jacob Robinson lost his fight in the elite open division but still came home with a bronze medal while James Durocher won silver in the 132 lbs. weight class.

Spencer Quinn won silver in the 64-68 kg. weight class while Brandon French travelled with the group but he was unable to have an opponent located for him.

“It was an exceptional weekend,” said LeBlanc.

Spencer Quinn, Brandon French and Jacob Robinson were three of the Amherstburg's Fighting Island Boxing Club's medalists at the recent provincials.

Spencer Quinn, Brandon French and Jacob Robinson were three of the Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club’s medalists at the recent provincials.

LeBlanc said fights went for four days the weekend earlier this month with “hundreds of athletes” on hand competing for medals.

Quinn said it was his second fight and he was pleased with how he performed.

“I did pretty well,” he said. “I was nervous going in. I learned I can’t be nervous and to put my hands up.”

The 13-year-old looks forward to his next fight in Ajax in a couple of weeks as does Robinson. Robinson said it was his first fight in the elite open division but noted “I’m fighting the best fighters in the province.”

Even though he lost, Robinson saw the positives.

“You learn more from losses than you do from wins,” said Robinson.

Robinson was happy with how the weekend went, noting he learned about moving his head more, standing on his toes and keeping his hands up.

French, who couldn’t get a fight in his 70 lbs. weight class, said it was still a worthwhile weekend for him.

“It was fun. I saw new things from other people that I’d like to try in the ring,” he said. “It helped me out. It was a great learning experience. I was really happy I went.”

LeBlanc pointed out he doesn’t have close to the talent pool to draw from as clubs in the larger cities like Toronto do, but he said his fighters still did very well.

“It speaks volumes for the community,” he said. “It speaks volumes for the kids and their heart and determination. You need to have heart first. You can’t teach heart.”