Three members of Boxing Yukon got gold and silver from bronze recently.
Whitehorse brothers Roan and Perrin Evans-Ehricht won gold and Jack Ladue silver at the Alberta Bronze Gloves in Whitecourt on Jan. 25.
Roan made it twice in a row, two times over.
The 18-year-old won gold in the light heavyweight class (81 kilos) and was named best boxer at the tournament out of about 120, just like last season’s provincial Bronze Gloves championships.
“I’m feeling really good,” said Roan. “The first time (last season) I was pretty surprised with the whole scenario and this time I was a lot more relaxed. I was a little nervous, but way more relaxed, way more composed.
“I just wanted to have good fights. I didn’t think about winning ... and it turns out my process reflected the result.”
Roan, who now has a 6-1 amateur record, won two fights to capture gold. Both of his fights - in fact all the Yukoners’ fights - went the distance and were decided by unanimous decision.
Roan first defeated Edmonton’s Daithi Duignan on Jan. 24 and then won gold with a victory over Vaugh Fauth from Turtle River. But Duignan was the tougher opponent, said Boxing Yukon head coach Jess Staffen.
“Roan’s first bout was the toughest I’ve ever seen him have,” said Staffen. “I’d much rather see them win in a tough fight than dominate somebody in the first round. They learn more that way too.”
“Turns out in my first fight, apparently I was the underdog,” said Roan. “I heard some coaches afterwards say they were going to stop me early, so I thought that was kind of a funny thing that I ended up winning.”
Older brother Perrin fought to gold in heavyweight (over 91 kilos) at the Bronze Gloves, which is for boxers with seven or fewer fights.
The 26-year-old lost a club card fight in Calgary a couple years ago, so it was good to get a couple wins under his belt, he said.
“It’s good to go out there and win, that’s for sure,” said Perrin. “I was happy to compete. Winning is just a bonus.
“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but I never put in the work where I felt it was warranted to go out and compete.”
Perrin first went through Shawn Mutkeu from the hosting Blue Ridge Boxing Club in Whitecourt. He out-fought Hank Tallow of the Blood Tribe First Nation for gold.
“Roan and I started at about the same age - 16 - back when the old boxing club was up at Takhini and I was always drawn towards the competition,” said Perrin. “There is nothing more exhilarating than getting in there and having a one-on-one square down with someone.
“But I never took it that serious. The last couple years I’ve gotten back into it. This is when I’ve done the most training and been the most focused than I’ve ever been.”
“My brother took to it like a fish to water,” he added. “He’s more dedicated and determined than I’ve ever been.”
At just 15, Ladue was the youngster on the team. Ladue won on the Saturday but lost on the Sunday to take silver in the featherweight (54 kilos) weight class.
“It was a rush, it felt good,” said Ladue. “The second one was a tough fight.
“The first fight was kind of weird because the guy was a southpaw. My coach told me to keep throwing the right hand and that won me the fight.”
Ladue took up boxing only a few months ago in September after seeing Rocky the Musical based on the life of fictional boxer Rocky Balboa.
He beat Calgary’s Kiam Aziz on the first day and lost to Edmonton’s Conner Lowry the next day.
Lowry had a bye the previous day and was therefore in his first fight of the weekend.
“I was kind of tired. I was not as in shape as the other kid,” said Ladue.
“It was a very close match and reviewing the footage with him, he’s very happy with how he performed and I’m very happy with how he performed,” said Staffen.
“The other boxer just ended up throwing a few more punches - not that they landed - but the fact that he threw more won him the bout.”
Boxing Yukon, which operates out of Peak Fitness in Riverdale, currently has 18 registered boxers qualified to spar and compete and a total of 25 members including recreational athletes. The organization holds classes Mondays and Wednesdays at Peak.
“I think it’s just awesome how we’re coming together as a team,” said Roan. “Me and my brother have gone out once before together and this time it went really well. And also with Jack added to the team - there are more guys around here who want to start competing. The Yukon boxing scene is actually starting to get somewhere.”
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