A night at the fights is returning to the Cloverdale Legion Feb. 22.
Although the fight card hasn’t been finalized yet, two fighters—one from Surrey and one from Langley—have been confirmed.
Langley’s Ali Owainati and Surrey’s Brandon Kim will lace up the gloves as featured fighters—both men train out of the Port Kells Boxing Club.
“Brandon is a hard hitting middle-weight with eleven fights under his belt,” said Ralph Robson, an event organizer. “Ali is a light middle-weight with six fights.”
Robson said the annual boxing memorial event is a joint venture between the Legion and the B.C. Amateur Boxing Association.
“Last year was a record breaking year, financially, with over $6,000 being donated to amateur boxing,” noted Robson.
He said the majority of the funds raised went to support junior boxers with things like travel expenses. Robson hopes the public will support the Jim Gallagher fight night again this year as he hopes to raise even more money for amateur boxing.
Port Kells Boxing Club coach Al Harper is the match-maker for this year’s fight night. Harper is lining up 12 bouts that will feature pugilists from all over B.C.
“Two heavy-weight bouts are planned,” said Robson.
Harper won’t be able to firm up the rest of the card until after the provincial championships, Robson explained. He said the B.C. provincial amateur boxing championships are being held Feb. 14-16 at the World Champion Boxing Club in Richmond.
“(Harper) is hopeful we will get several provincial champions on our card,” added Robson. “This card will showcase some of B.C.’s elite senior and youth boxers.”
The amateur night at the fights is held in honour of Jim Gallagher. Gallagher, who passed away from Parkinson’s disease in 2012, was a strong supporter of amateur boxing. After he passed, the Cloverdale Legion started the memorial night in his honour.
Robson said the annual event is also an evening that features the Jim Gallagher Memorial Award. Given annually since 2013, the award is presented to someone who dedicates their time to build up the sport of amateur boxing in B.C. He said winners must have a strong work ethic and be courageous. They must also exemplify perseverance, leadership, and sportsmanship.
Harper was last year’s winner.
“This boxing event is designed as affordable, family entertainment,” added Robson.
Entry is $20 and children 12-and-under get in free. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the fights running from 7-10 p.m.
The Cloverdale Legion is located at 17567-57th Ave.