Tuesday, March 27, 2012



Today in 2012 it is called the Spruce Capital Warriors Boxing
Club  coached Prince George sports hall of fame inductee
WAYNE SPONAGLE.  For the complete story, we need
to go back to the days and years of  IRVING and HAROLD MANN.
In the late sixties and early Seventies 
on of the boxing starswas heavyweight
Jack Meda who is an inductee of the
Prince George Sports Hall of Fame. 
Along the way there would be many
other excellent boxers such as
Harold Handlin, Laurie Rorick, 
Sid McKnight,  Laurie Mann,
 Buzz Montour and many others
 in recent years such as 
2012 Canadian silver medalist
light-heavyweight boxer
Thomas Speirs and Marcus Hume.  In 1972, the 
listed club officials were Harold Mann and Doug Martin.
Some may remember boxer ALLAN BAYNE.  In 1984
Allan would take part in the Silver Gloves that were 
held Decenber 17 th.  Bain would fight his way into
the finals as a junior open boxer and win against a
boxer from Cranbrook, BC.  Some other well known
junior open boxers in that tournament were
Jason Downie, Tony Duffy, Paul Deluca, Manny Sobral,
Alan Brown and Troy Taylor.

But many more tournaments would take place over the
years.  Ten years after that Silver Gloves victory as a
junior boxer Bayne would be part of the Canadian
Commonwealth Games boxing team in 1994.
           Some of the Canadian boxers and coaches 
           1994 Commonwealth Games, Victoria, BC

*Some may remember Dennis Rorick when he boxed in the Sixties and
made it into the finals of the 1967 Diamond Belt tournament and 
faced Donato Paduano in the finals.

Sid is one
of the few 
BC based

The Eighties:
During the eighties many Spruce Capital boxers engaged in 
club shows and tournaments including:
Curtis Mann, Steve Noel, Todd Hatley, Tyler Walker,
Tyler Piddocke, Vince Schryver and Wade Csntelope. 

In the 1984 Bronze Gloves, the Bronze Boy was
Tyler Piddocke of Prince George.  The Bronze Boy runner-up
was Trent Storey of Gold River.  

The Dawn of a New Age for Spruce Capital Boxers:
Fast forward to March 2013, and boxer Thomas Speirs
makes his pro debut with succes to begin a new journey
along the path of many Canadian professional boxers.
His long time club mate Marcus Hume  was on the 
Spruce Capital Boxing Club hosted card in an 
amateur bout which he won.

Coach Wayne Sponagle
and Marcus Hume joined
Thomas Speirs at a news
coference prior to the
boxing show to discuss
the journey of club 
member Thomas Speirs.

Saturday, March 17, 2012



The years 1939 to 1968 are
considered the Golden Age
of Amateur Boxing.

Boxing in British Columbia
and other parts of Cnada
would change with the 
formation of the Canadian
Amateur Boxing Association
and each Province such as the
British Columbia Amateur Boxing
Association would start a new course which would lead to 
Olympic Glory in 1984 when three boxers from Canada
including Dale Walters of Burnaby, British Columbia
would win medals.  The other two being Willie DeWit
and Shawn O'Sullivan.  That historical highlight would
be repeated with medals in 1988.
(photo - Dale Walters and
Lennie Walters - Olympic boxers
Dale 1984, Lennie 1948)

Sixteen Years To Achieve that Moment of Glory:

*Those 16 years from 1969
to 1984 would be filled with
many interesting events in the sport of amateur boxing in British Columbia.
Some Highliughts:
1969: Neil Knight, Seattle
 BC GOLDEN GLOVES action had Seattle boxer Neil Knight winning the annual Golden Boy award.  In 1968, it was Portland's Ray Lampkin 

1970: Golden Gloves to be hosted by Boxing BC (BCABA), in the past it was sponsored
and hosted by various community groups such as the Optimists and the Lions Clubs.
                    *1970 Golden Gloves boxers from British Columbia*

1970: The Campbell River Eagles Boxing Club becomes an official boxing club.
1971:  The Nanaimo Boxing Club is founded by Brian Zelley and Dan Wright, 
1972: Chris Ius and Les Hamilton join the Canadian Olympic boxing team.
Major revival in amateur boxing in Greater Victoria with
Mike Caird, Gordie McGaw and Larry Montgomery receives a boost 
with the arrival of Ian Weir, Dan Wright, and Brian Zelley to help in a 
major program to improve boxing in the Capital City.
*news reporter for the "Victorian" does a major story
for amateur boxing with a piece titled:
"Boxing Back From Ropes", November 22, 1974
(Weir -  Caird  - Zelley" photo by Jim Ryan)

*Howard Curling appointed Island
 Commissioner for Vancouver Island
by the BC boxing president of the BCABA.
 *BC Junior Selects face British Schoolboy
 boxers for North-west England
in two tournaments in Vancouver and Victoria.
The president of the British Columbia Amateur Boxing Association

*Chris Ius and Sid McKnight join the Canadian Olympic boxing team.
 *The Victoria Athletic Association is formed and replaces the old
London Boxing Club to sponsor and promote amateur boxing.

* The Nanaimo Boxing Club hosts the first of many of it's
Bathtub Capital Golden Gloves events.
*the Nanaimo Daily Free Press" reporter Colin Gibson's 

"Golden Gloves Tournament A Thumping Success"
-  the Nanaimo show featured boxers from around BC
and the Pacific Northwest such as:
Chuck Robinson, Brett and Todd Summers, 
Alex Bankier, Gordie Lawson, Alex Angelomatis, Barry Creswell, Ed McCaffrey,
John Hunter, Shane Anderson and juniors such as Don Preston and Mary Burton. 

*1978 Bronze Gloves hosted by the Cloverdale Boxing Club.
Nanaimo boxers in action were Don Preston, Lyle Jack and 
Ron Williams.

*Boxing in Victoria expands when Lou Bujdoso forms the
Victoria Jaycees Boxing Club.
* The Nanaimo Boxing Club hosts it's second Bathtub
Capital Golden Gloves tournament in Nanaimo. 

*BC Winter Games held in Kamloops.
*1979 Silver Gloves held in Chilliwack March 23 and 24 '79.
*May '79 Second Bathtub Capital Golden Gloves held in 
Nanaimo with a cross section of boxers from BC including
junior boxers Alan Brown , Gary Ivers, and Marty Burton.

 *The BC Diamond Belt Championships are revived
and are hosted by the Victoria Jaycees Boxing Club.
*Rick Brough, the new Island Commissioner builds a
team to help amateur boxing grow and expand on
Vancouver Island.
*Alan Brown of the Gold River boxing club wins
a Canadian championship in the Junior Nationals.

*In Golden Gloves action boxer Jamie Ollenberger becomes
the first BC star of the Eighties with his performance.

BEYOND 1984:
*To get beyond 1984, it is necessary to look at the quality
 and quantity of the junior or intermediate boxers of 1980
 to 1984 some of which would become top rated senior
open boxers from 1985 into the Nineties.

== 1984 Junior Golden Gloves ==
*As good a place to start as any would be the 1984
junior golden gloves  and three names of interest 
would be TONY DUFFY of the Sunshine Boxing Club,
MANNY SOBRAL of the Shamrock Boxing Club and
MIKE WOOD  of the Campbell River Eagles Boxing Club,.
At the end of the competition it would the "Sunshine Kid"
TONY DUFFY that would earn the Golden Boy award.

*A month after that tournament for the best juniors,
some of them would participate in the Junior Nationals.
BC champions would be AARON WOLFE and WILLY CURRY.

*It was the Silver Gloves tournament that would include
open junior boxers and some of the names of boxers
that would be an important part of the post 1984 period
would include:
Allan Bain (Spruce Capital Boxing Club, Prince George),
Alan Brown (Gold River Boxing Club, Gold River),
Tony Duffy (Sunshine Boxing Club)
Manny Sobral (Shamrock Boxing Club)

*in novice senior and intermediate boxing some 
standouts would include:
Jason Trottier (Burnaby boxing club)
Hail King (Shamrock boxing club)
Both Jason and Hail would win convincing victories over
boxers from the Astoria boxing club.