Canadian Boxing: Henney, Claggett, Ford , and Matuk Victorious

By G.M. Ross - The much anticipated rubber-match between Frank White of Sarnia, Ontario, and Ryan Henney of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for the cruiserweight championship of Canada took place last night (Saturday, February 13) at the Shaw Conference Center in Edmonton, Alberta. These men first met in the summer of 2007 when Henney became the only man to stop White, scoring a technical knockout in the sixth of a scheduled eight rounds. Almost exactly a year later, White tied their pugilistic series at one a piece, earning a ten round unanimous decision and Henney’s cruiserweight championship of Canada. On Saturday night White and Henney went the distance again, leaving the outcome in the judges’ hands..

All three judges – Mark Edel, Craig Metcalfe and William Warwick Jr. – scored the fight 96-93, awarding the rubber-match and Canadian title to Ryan ‘The Hitman’ Henney. Next in line in the Canadian cruiserweight division appears to be James Cermak of Edmonton, who has a win and a loss against ‘the Hitman.’ Hopefully, like White, Henney will provide Canadian boxing fans with a tie-breaking affair by defending his title against Cermak in the near future.

On the undercard, lightweight Steve Claggett of Calgary, Alberta, remains undefeated after scoring a technical knockout of Mike Maley of Missouri in the first round of their scheduled six round contest. Going into the contest Claggett was ranked third by the Canadian Boxing Federation behind fellow undefeated fighters Tony Luis of Cornwall, Ontario and Logan McGuinness of Orangville, Ontario. Expect two of these three to square off for the vacant lightweight championship of Canada in the near future.

In other action, Ryan Ford of Edmonton, Alberta, made his professional debut against the very experienced Willard Lewis of Hobbema, Alberta, in a four round bout. Despite having a 42 fight edge in experience, Lewis was unable to dispose of the Alberta rookie, Ford pushing veteran to a judge’s decision. The same judges who so thoroughly agreed regarding the White-Henney contest exhibited differences of opinion following the Ford-Lewis tilt. Judges Mark Edel and William Warwick Jr. declared Ford the victor, turning in scorecards of 40-36 and 39-37 respectively. Judge Craig Metcalfe, however, saw a closer fight and declared the contest a 38-38 draw, making the official verdict a mixed decision victory for Ford.

The undercard included two other successful debuts. In the super middleweight division Kyle Matuk of Edmonton won his initial foray into the professional fight game by handing Justin Berger, also of Edmonton, a technical knockout in the third stanza of their four round contest. In women’s super featherweight competition newcomer Peggy Maerz of Calgary earned a four round draw against the more experienced Amy Johnson of Edmonton. Johnson came into the fight with a 5-2-3 record.

March promises to be one of the best months in Canadian boxing for some time, with no less than four fight cards scheduled and six titles to be contested on Canadian soil. The festivities will kick off on March 6th, when Sebastien Demers of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec – fresh off his victory over Nicholson Poulard for the NABF super middleweight title in November – meets recent Lucian Bute victim William Joppy in a ten round, non-title contest, at the Montreal Casino in Montreal, Quebec.

The following weekend the fists will fly on the other side of the country when Olympian and rising Canadian middleweight prospect Adam Trupish meets Michael Walchuck of Kitchener via Regina, for the vacant middleweight title of Canada at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.

On March 26th, Canadian boxing returns to Montreal, Quebec, for the Ali Nestor Charles-Martin Desjardins contest for the Canadian Professional Boxing Council (CPBC) super middleweight title. Now, I know what you’re thinking – What is the CPBC? Well, it seems boxing in Canada is going the way of the ‘world’ titles and will be split between the Canadian Boxing Federation (CBF) and CPBC. It’s unlikely, of course, that either the men vying for the CPBC title could go the distance with David Lemieux, the reigning, undefeated CBF super middleweight champion. In fact, Desjardins lost twice to Jason Naugler, the remarkably tough Nova Scotian Lemieux defeated to win the CBF belt. Desjardin is unrated by the CBF, and Ali Nestor Charles is ranked seventh in the middleweight division. Charles and Desjardins are ranked eighth and ninth respectively in the super middleweight division by the CPBC. Why then style the winner as ‘champion of Canada’? It unnecessarily confuses matters for Canadian fight fans and misrepresents the division. Also up for grabs in Montreal is the Quebec Boxing Council super featherweight title. This honour will be contested between Martin Huppe (1-12-0) and Abdou Snow (2-0-0).

On the 27th of March, boxing returns to Casino Rama for a rematch between Steve Molitor and Takalani Ndlovu for the vacant IBF super bantamweight championship of the world. Also to be contested is the WBA female super bantamweight title between Lisa ‘Bad News’ Brown of Scarborough, Ontario, and Ana ‘the Hurricane’ Julaton of California. Last but not least, Grzegorz Kielsa will defend his heavyweight championship of Canadian (CBF) against Neven ‘No Surrender’ Pajkic.

Article posted on 14.02.2010

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