The 2018 B.C. Golden Gloves have come and gone, with Fivestar Boxing Academy’s Brayden Sims winning one of the three belts handed out on the weekend. Collectively, Fivestar fighters went 7-3 at Golden Gloves.
Sims fought Jerome Leroyer of Inner City on Friday for the third time, in the 60kg Jr. C Open Male division. Just like the previous two fights, Sims was victorious, winning by unanimous decision. It was an excellent performance by Sims and a thrilling fight to watch, earning Sims the Best Youth Boxer of the Night award and the Fight of the Night award to him and Leroyer.
On Saturday, Sims fought an exhibition in the same division against Phillip Matombo. Sims lost to Matombo in a sanctioned fight in 2017, and was eager to get the win back. Unfortunately, Matombo is two years older than Sims, so the B.C. Boxing Commission wouldn’t make it an actual fight. Regardless, the two treated it as a real bout.
“I feel like I did better than I usually do in both fights. I didn’t get any bruises or cuts against Jerome like I usually do when I fight him, but Saturday was my better fight. I was full of energy and felt good about myself,” Sims said.
Sims was coming off a tough loss at nationals earlier this month, but said he had more fun at Golden Gloves and didn’t take things as seriously. He was glad that he could win the belt at home in front of his family and friends.
“It was a great weekend for Brayden, to get a Golden Gloves championship and feel good about himself again,” said Fivestar Head Coach Justin Donally.
The other belts went to Oakley Fitzsimmons of Inner City gym in the 38kg Jr. B Novice Male division, and Grande Prairie’s Travis Lesschaeve from Warrior Strong in the 60kg Elite Open Male division.
Fitzsimmons is just 12, but has movement and footwork unlike anyone else who fought last weekend, and has a bright future in boxing. He won the Best Junior Boxer of the Night award both nights.
Travis Lesschaeve beat Rhett Gibbons of the Savard Boxing Club by referee stoppage after Gibbons’ third standing eight count. Lesschaeve was awarded the B.C. Golden Boy award, given to the best elite male boxer at Golden Gloves each year.
Another star of the show was Fivestar’s Nick Dragojevich. He won two fights in the 75kg Elite Novice Male division, improving his record to 7-2. His second fight, against Undisputed Boxing’s Fernando Asenio, was especially entertaining.
The two put on a show, trading bombs. Dragojevich looked the worse for wear, with a bloody nose and bruises all over his face, but won by unanimous decision.
“I was in there smiling and having fun. I should have covered up more on Saturday, but I was going for the knock out,” Dragojevich said.
“(Dragojevich) is doing things I never thought he could do a year ago. He’s taking things more seriously and really improving,” said Donally.
Donally said Dragojevich fought with a cracked rib, but it wasn’t noticeable to anyone watching.
Dragojevich needs one more fight to become an open boxer and be eligible for provincials and nationals.
“I can’t wait for provincials, and would love to get a spot on the team at nationals and cross that goal off my list,” he said.
Fivestar’s two national silver medalists, Nick Young and Lincoln Pomeroy, were unable to have sanctioned fights, as it’s tough finding competition for both guys.
For Young, there’s nobody left for him to fight in Western Canada at the youth level, but he is still three months away from fighting those at the senior level. Pomeroy’s size poses a challenge, as there are only two youth heavyweight fighters in B.C., and only five at nationals.
Fivestar will take some time to relax before deciding what fight cards they will participate in for the rest of the season.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.