Joanne Moxsom was thrilled when she learned she would be main eventing Hubtown Boxing’s Friday Night Fights card.
She was so excited about her first main event bout, it didn’t matter she only had three days to prepare.
“The fights were that Friday and I found out on the Tuesday I had an opponent,” said Moxsom, who last fought close to one year ago. “I was so honoured that the short notice didn’t impact me at all. I felt really good going into the fight and I was prepared. I had been training hard and that really helped me mentally prepare. I wasn’t nervous at all going into the fight.”
Friday Night Fights is an annual event presented by the Hubtown Boxing Club. It was held May 20 at the Best Western Plus Glengarry. In addition to Moxsom, five members of the local club competed.
As for Moxsom, she faced off against Kathryn Yeomans of Saint John. The pair went toe-to-toe for three rounds before the judge’s awarded the fight to Yeomans.
“We both left it all in the ring,” said Moxsom. “I had her on the ropes a few times, she had me on the ropes a few times. It was pretty much blow for blow. I honestly don’t believe either one of us had the upper hand or out-boxed the other. When the final bell sounded, we were both finished.”
Moxsom described her fight as aggressive. She says she came out early looking to set the tone.
“I’m bad for just standing in there and throwing punches without backing off,” she said. “I’ll go punch for punch. Throughout the fight my strategy pretty well stayed the same. I was happy with the way I boxed but I think I need to work on my combinations and balancing my attack a bit more.”
Coach Peter Allen was pleased with Moxsom’s effort. He says the fight could have gone either way.
“Joanne and her opponent were pretty well splitting images of each other,” said Allen. “They fought the same, had the same build, same amount of fights and so on. It was a good match-up and it easily could have gone in her favour. If you had different judges, she could have won. This is just how these judges saw the fight.”
Finding an opponent hasn’t been easy for Moxsom. With an emphasis on finding a fair fight for amateur boxers, opponents have been few and far between.
At 36, Moxsom says fighters need to be at least 19 years old, have a similar amount of fights and fall in the same weight category.
“There’s a lack of women in the sport,” she said. “It’s just tough to find opponents because there aren’t many out there. It’s definitely frustrating at times but there’s not much I can do about it. I just keep working hard, train on a regular basis and make sure I’m ready to go when the chance comes.”
Eleven-year-old Logan Seewald, in just his third fight, kicked off the card with a loss. Seewald’s fight was stopped by the referee after he sustained a bloody nose.
Despite the disappointment that goes with the loss, Seewald knows what he has to do next.
“It’s hard to lose that way but I was pretty happy with the way the fight had been going up until that point,” he said. “I have a habit of dropping my hands and that’s something I need to work on. I basically stop protecting my head which leaves me wide open so I really need to concentrate on keeping my hands up which should limit the chances my opponent has.”
Liam Boyd was the club’s youngest participant. At 10 years old, his match was originally supposed to be an exhibition bout. Halfway through the match, Allen learned the fight would count.
Unfortunately, Boyd couldn’t recover and lost the fight.
“You’re not supposed to compete until you’re 11,” said Allen. “We thought this was an exhibition fight so from the start, he wasn’t really coming out hard. Then when we told him it was a real fight, it was too late. He lost in a split decision. He was pretty upset about it but he really did a great job.”
Nic Martell was next up for the local club. Although he’s one of the oldest members, Allen says it was his first fight.
While Martell had a good fight, Allen says his nerves played a key role in his approach.
“Nic came out flying. He threw so many punches in the first 30 seconds that he burned himself out,” said Allen. “I think it was a great learning opportunity for him. We just need to get those nerves under control, slow him down a bit and he will be fine. When it came to the match up, we’d take that fight again in a heartbeat.
“Nerves were an issue for a few of the fighters,” Allen continued. “For many of them, it’s the first time they’re climbing into a ring and boxing in front of 400 people. Add to that the fact they’re boxing in their hometown. It can get the nerves going real quick.”
Morgan Donaldson, who had just three fights under his belt until that point, faced the toughest challenge.
He was up against Prince Edward Island’s three-time provincial champion.
Heading into the fight, Donaldson didn’t let that bother him.
“It was probably the fight of the night,” said Allen. “Morgan did exceptionally well considering it was only his fourth fight. He didn’t win but he certainly held his own.”
Paul Raymond was the only member of Hubtown Boxing Club to record a win. His fight was stopped by the referee which led to him raising Raymond’s arm in victory.
Allen says it was a well-rounded fight.
“Paul had a good fight,” said Allen. “He landed some good shots and followed his game plan.”
With the boxing season winding down, Allen says a handful of the club’s members could fight one more time.
As the offseason approaches, the focus will shift from boxing to finding a new home. The club currently calls the former Princess Margaret Rose School home. But with it slated to be torn down, they currently don’t have anywhere to go.
“We’re in panic mode a little bit,” said Allen. “We not quite sure what’s going to happen right now. We’ve received our one-month notice more than a month ago so at any given day they could come to us and tell us to be out. We honestly didn’t know if we would actually have a place to train leading up to the recent fights.”
The club, which has close to 20 competitive and non-competitive members, was formerly located on the grounds of the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition. Allen confirms the space they once occupied is still vacant and remains a possibility.
“Space is a big issue for us,” he said. “We need around 2,000 square feet and the ceilings have to be at least eight feet high. That’s because we do a lot of skipping. The other issue is the fact we’re poor. We can’t afford a lot so we need a place that has reasonable rent.”