For the Journal
Boxing Ontario held the Provincial Championships in Brampton this past weekend, with Sarnia’s Bluewater Boxing Club sending seven fighters and capturing six medals.
Club President Tom Hennessey says he’s proud of his fighters, who brought home four gold and two silver medals.
“We were ecstatic with the results of the tournament,” Hennessey told the Journal. “We had a lot of gold medals, which is a testament to the kids working together and working hard.”
In the 57 kg weight class, it was Noah Wyville representing Bluewater Boxing Blub. Wyville, who has only been in the gym a short time, received a bye into the semi-finals. That set up a bout with Evan Arboleya from the Blue Collar Boxing Academy.
Wyville would win a unanimous decision and advance to the finals to face Waterloo Regional’s Landon Cullen. It was a hard fought bout, and after a strong third round, Wyville was awarded the title of the 57 kg Novice Provincial Champion.
Xander Williams fought in the 60 kg weight class, and would get a little help into the finals. He received a bye into the semi’s and then advanced to the finals as his opponent did not show. Williams faced Abdul Adebiyi from the Beaver Boxing Club in Ottawa in the finals.
“He’s a southpaw kid; he’s left handed, but he boxes orthodox, so his jab is just unforgiving, it’s phenomenal,” Hennessy said of Williams.
Williams used his hard left jab and mixed in some rights to punch his way to a provincial title winning a unanimous decision.
The 70 kg weight class featured Bluewater’s Sheadon Bedard. Bedard, who had been competing in the 67 kg class, moved up to the 70 kg after gaining weight leading up to the event, and was also the recipient of a bye into the semi final, something many of the Sarnia boxers received.
Bedard overcame some adversity after losing round one, and told his corner the next two rounds would be his. He made good on that promise, after he gave his opponent Subeg Uppal a standing eight count in both the second and third rounds to win by unanimous decision. He would go onto the finals to face a more experienced fighter in Harrison O’Gorman out of Ottawa’s Beaver Boxing Club. Bedard would lose this bout, but earn himself a silver medal and some experience as well.
Mike White competed in the 71 kg open youth category for the first time in the finals after receiving a bye; he faced Jack Costantino from Niagara Falls.
White, who has trained for quite some time, was in his first open tournament. He would go on to win in a unanimous decision to become the 2023 Open Provincial Boxing Champion, and will represent Ontario in December at the Canadian Championship.
In the 71 kg Open Elite Championship, Bluewater Boxing was represented by Josh Jablonski.
Jablonski, who was in just his 16th fight, faced a much more experienced fighter in Alexander Campbell from the West End Boxing Club in Toronto. Campbell came into this fight with 30 bouts under his belt. Unfortunately for Jablonski, Campbell’s experience would pay off, as Campbell would win the fight and advance to the finals.
Over in the female division, Bluewater Boxing would be represented by Nicole Drury and Melodia Gratten Bastine.
Gratten Bastine fought in the 48 kg weight class, and represented the Bluewater Boxing Club well in her first fight. She fought Ibna Sharma, a tough and experienced boxer from Brantford. Sharma’s experience would prove worthy, as Gratten Bastine would come away with a silver in a hard fought bout.
Nicole Drury, last year’s 60 kg provincial champion, moved up to the 63.5 kg class and took on a very experienced boxer in Tara Deris. Drury came away with the win, and became a provincial champion for a second straight year, and will advance to the National Championships held in December.
“I like to equate it to a sport, that’s an individual sport that takes a good team to actually win,” Hennessy told the Journal, noting how all the kids come together to train and spar in preparation for events like these.
Hennessy is certainly appreciative to his volunteer coaches too — Jason Gnay, Nicholas Lord and Justine Honsinger.
“They really have put their heart and soul into going in and working with the kids to get them where they are, and it goes without saying that the kids don’t excel if the coaches don’t put in the time.”