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Break out the ice bags, Fight Night #2 Saturday at Rod & Gun Club

Twelve-year-old Elias Martinez spars with his coach during training at the Nelson Boxing Club in preparation for Saturday's Nelson Fight Night #2. — Bruce Fuhr, The Nelson Daily

Boxing is coming back to Nelson.

Actually the Nelson Boxing Club is flourishing very well, thank you very much, at its new digs in the basement under Pharmasave on Baker Street.

So much that the club is preparing to host Nelson Fight Night #2, the second boxing card in less than a year Saturday at the Nelson Rod and Gun Club.

“It feels real good to be able to fight again in front of my home town,” Elias Martinez said during a break in training this week at the Nelson Boxing Club.

“Ya, I can’t wait to get back in the ring,” said Bhodie Cartland when asked about stepping back into the ring for his third bout of the year.

Saturday’s card has more 11 bouts scheduled said Nelson Boxing Club coach Jesse Pineiro.

Six bouts have local fighters stepping into the ring —  Ryan Lewis, Reil and Elias Martinez, Bhodi Cartland, Jeff Emmett and Krishan Lysenko.

“I feel a lot more confident for this fight than I did in May,” said the 12-year-old Martinez, who faces Aaron Madriaga of North Vancouver.

“The last time I was pretty sick the week before the fight and didn’t have very much time to train.

“This time I’m healthy and feel very comfortable,” added Martinez, who is 2-2 on the season.

Boxers are attending from Cranbrook, Kelowna, Revelstoke, North Vancouver and Burnaby.

Hosting a fight card is a lot of work for Pinero and Company.

The ring used at the Rod and Gun Club is loaned to the club from Cranbrook.

Invites go out to all the clubs in the region as well as in the province of BC and Idaho and Washington State.

Then there’s the set up, take down, selling tickets and security.

But as Pinero sees it, the hard work all pays off in the end.

“I think we’re going in the right direction,” he said.

“The feedback we received from all sectors of the community, from police to social workers to high school  . . . everybody is just super happy with the results that they’re seeing .  . . . Not talking about boxing here. I’m talking about kids having a direction and a bit of focus in their lives and turning things around.”

Nelson boxer, Bhodi Cartland couldn’t agree more.

Cartland admits he may have been on a collision course, but is happy to now have a focus — and that focus is boxing.

“Boxing gave me a place where I felt I belonged . . . a better sense of being in the community through just not just hanging out with my friends at a coffee shop or getting “high” it gave me better feeling of self worth,” said Cartland, getting a chance to box again against Joe Armstrong of Kelowna.

The first bout in May was halted when judges felt the two adult boxers was turning into a street-brawl.

Nelson Fight Night #2 goes Saturday at the Rod and Gun Club. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the boxing club, Tribute Boardshop, Bia Boro Boutique and at the door.  

Weigh in is at 4 p.m.

First bout goes at 6 p.m.