Supportive, boisterous crowd welcomes boxing’s return to Woodstock

by | Aug 9, 2022

Local boxers shine as ‘Resurrection’ proves an Old Home Week hit

The Old Home Week finale was a huge success, with the Resurrection filling the AYR Motor Centre arena on Saturday night. The Woodstock Boxing Club titled their hometown debut the Resurrection because it was the first time boxing had been locally held since 1969.

There were 12 fights that night, including five boasting local boxers. Unfortunately, other scheduled matches featuring local fighters were dropped last minute. Five Woodstock Boxing Club members got in the ring — one was an exhibition match, and the other four featured Woodstock wins.

Chad Tomah fought Tom Young of the Saint John Golden Gloves in the exhibition bout. It was the opening fight and set the tone for the night.

Coach Neil Campbell described it as an “excellent and intense fight.” He said Tomah, a club member for two years, always trains hard, and his determination showed in the ring.

Fourteen-year-old Brody Paul defeated Riley Baker from All for One Boxing in Nova Scotia. The Jimmy Collins Memorial trophy was awarded to Paul for his efforts.

Aiden Tomah beat Jake Landry, who hails from Westville, Nova Scotia. The referee stopped this fight in the first round. Tomah received the Ralph Holley Memorial trophy for his efforts.

Veteran boxer Corey McKinley won over Will Tobias from the Saint John Golden Gloves. Coach Campbell described this as an exciting, well-fought battle.

The Fight of the Night award went to Austin Stephenson’s defeat over Ryan Gilmore. It was described as a blood bath and had the arena making lots of noise.

The Main Event fight featuring Centerville’s Josh Melvin versus Dominic Dimarco from Moncton’s Don’t Blink Boxing Club delighted the crowd. Melvin finished the Resurrection with another Woodstock Club win.

“We are extremely happy with the Old Home Week Committee for taking on and supporting an event like this,” said Recreation Program Coordinator Jill Dunnett. “Coach Campbell and his support coaches did a great job getting our boxers trained and prepared for the event, and a lot of time was spent working with Boxing NB to schedule fighters. The event was great recognition for the club and for the sport itself.”

Dunnet said seeing the community come out and support the local, talented athletes was exciting. She noted there were a few veteran boxers in attendance who would have fought in the last boxing event held during Old Home Week of 1969. They were Peter Curly, Peter Porter (a Woodstock Sports Wall of Fame inductee), Jimmy Wheelan and Steve Hawkins.

“I anticipate this club will continue to grow in numbers as they move forward,” said Dunnett. “We’re hopeful that more events such as this will happen right here in Woodstock in the near future.”
Coach Campbell said it was a tiring event for him, and he couldn’t fully watch the fights, as he was required in the locker rooms for last-minute coaching or tending to injuries. He said he was thrilled with the local support, especially since it’s a new event for the area.
“People involved in boxing for a long time told me it was the biggest and loudest crowd in boxing they had seen. They were supportive and boisterous,” said Campbell. “I’m so proud of all of the guys. This was what we hoped to see. I imagine this will become an annual event.”

The Woodstock Boxing Club will maintain their strict training schedule as they now focus on the Ricky Marciano Memorial Boxing Tournament in Boston. This famed tournament takes place in September, with training camps scheduled beforehand in Lewiston, Maine.

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