Friday night the ring at Credit Union Eventplex in Regina, Saskatchewan will hold a battle between two teams – Canada and Wales – getting ready to compete at the Commonwealth Games in July.
On Friday, Canadian Ariane Fortin (above right) – current national champion at 75 kg – will face Wales champion Lauren Price. Fortin comes into the ring after bringing home a silver medal from the Feliks Stam tournament in Warsaw in April; a competition where the two-time World champion shook off ring rust from not competing internationally in months.
The 20 year-old Price on the other hand, has been participating in several championships on the European circuit during 2013 and 2014 and has put her soccer career on hold to dedicate one hundred percent to boxing.
“It’s going to be a very interesting bout because she is a southpaw, but I’m an experienced boxer who can adjust to any style,” said 29 year-old Fortin.
“I am very excited and looking forward to box Ariane,” said Price.
The other two female Canadian boxers competing Friday are 51 kg Pan American champion, Mandy Bujold and 60 kg national title holder Caroline Veyre.
Bujold won the 2014 Canadian title with a solid performance. Her opponent is Ashley Brace, newly crowned Wales national champion. The Canadian’s speed gives her an edge over Brace, a pressure fighter who likes to come forward.
“She is not going to be an easy opponent, it’s going to make the bout very interesting,” said Bujold.
Veyre will box 2011 European champion, Charlene Jones on Friday and Sunday.
Canadian Olympian Custio Clayton was disappointed to learn that his opponent Freddie Evans suffered a last-minute injury that will keep him out of the ring in Regina and denying the pair a London 2012 rematch.
Clayton was very excited to have the opportunity to face Evans, but said, the rematch will have to happen in Glasgow.
And perhaps, it could be the 69kg final.
Clayton is at 100% and is completely recovered from his injured wrist that occurred last year.
“I am focused on the present and on bringing a medal home from Glasgow,” said talented Clayton.
While Clayton will not get a chance to fight, 20-year old Rodolfo Velasquez (above right) will represent Canada in Regina against 56km Commonwealth medallist Sean McGoldrick.
“It will be a crazy experience,” said Velasquez in one of his Tweets. “ Time for the big fight, I am ready.”
In the 52kg division Emilien Boucher will box European champ, Andrew Selby.
Other bouts on Friday include 75 kg Pan American bronze medalist, Brody Blair from Nova Scotia against eight-times Welsh champion Nathan Thorley.
Samir El Mais, 33, in the 91kg bout will use his experience to box 19-year-old southpaw Kody Davies. El Mais won bronze at the Continental Championships last year and gold at the Independence Cup 2013 and the 51st edition of the Belgrade Winner Tournament.
Another Canadian to watch is 19-year old Arthur Biyarslanov, at 64 kg who was the 2012 bronze medalist at the Branderburg Cup. He will box Zack Davies who was the 2010 Youth Olympics quarterfinalist.
The Canadian Commonwealth Boxing Team will officially be announced in the next couple of weeks.
Photos via Boxing Canada