There was a bit of good news and a bit of bad news for two pugilists from the Rimbey Boxing Club following the Bronze Gloves Boxing Tournament, held in Calgary over the January 26 weekend.
On the one hand, Laramie Hollingsworth of Leslieville captured a gold medal following one tournament fight and an exhibition match, but teammate Cory Regnier of Rimbey didn’t fair as well following a loss – his first as an amateur fighter.
“It was a good fight, but I wasn’t fighting as well as I should have, I guess,” said a dejected Regnier who was defeated on the judge’s decision.
Laramie Hollingsworth Leslieville
“I did good,” Hollingsworth said. “I won my first fight and then I had an exhibition match the next day, and won that too.”
While it was a break-even tournament for the young fighters, their coach Mike Smith said he was very proud of their efforts and their poise.
“I am very proud of both of them for their sportsman-like attitude, both in and out of the ring, which was very good,” Smith said. “We went in there and rehearsed how we were going to do things like breathing, and making sure to go over to the opponent’s corner, win or lose, shake their hand and their coaches and shake the referee’s hand and show them some appreciation.”
Joining the three at the tournament was first-year assistant coach Darcy Hollingsworth – father of Laramie, who also had some good things to say about the effort put forth.
“Cory had a tough, tough fight against a kid that’s undefeated and threw some great combinations,” he said. “Cory fought with him right up to the last half of the third round and it could have gone either way. So he’s got a lot to be proud of.”
“Laramie fought a girl that was older than her and a little heavier, and did a wonderful job. She worked hard and she deserved it. It was a very good fight. They’ve both got a lot to be proud of,” Hollingsworth added.
As for seeing his daughter – or any other female entering a boxing ring for that matter, Hollingsworth said the sport requires both physical stamina and mental toughness, a combination ideal for young athletes.
“It’s competition and the girls like to compete just like the boys. Boxing does wonders for their confidence and self-esteem,” he said. “It’s a really good sport and physically demanding – you’ve got to be in top shape to do it, and in top mental shape just to compete at that level.”
Coach Smith agreed and added that while females in boxing are a relatively new phenomenon, our country has already risen to the top in terms of participants.
“Actually, Canada has the best all-around female boxers, and more of them than anywhere else in the world – even more than the United States in the amateur levels,” he said. “When we go down to the Ringside Tournament (held annually in Kansas City, Missouri), there are a lot of female Canadian boxers, more than any other country.”