It was only a matter of weeks that Ashley Rouble and Nick Young had to get ready for Rumble in the Cage 53, but both Fivestar fighters made the most of their opportunity in Lethbridge earlier this month.
After competing at Fivestar’s charity boxing event in October, the duo had to quickly transition for K1 kickboxing fights in Lethbridge, Alta., on Nov. 5.
From different rules to longer rounds, the preparation for the fights in Alberta were a big change for the local fighters.
“Until you’ve had so many fights (in B.C.) you have to wear shin guards and headgear. They went right into this fight, no headgear, no shin guards, 10 ounce gloves and a nine minute fight,” kickboxing coach Justin Donally said.
“Three, three-minute rounds. When you go from two minutes to three minute rounds, that’s pro level kickboxing. That was a big adjustment for them.”
Rouble entered the cage for the first time with mounting nerves, but was able to overcome her anxiousness in decisive fashion with a second round liver kick for the TKO.
“It didn’t really hit me until I was out of the cage,” she said about the win. “It was a wave of relief and I was so happy.”
She added that once she stepped in the cage, it was simply a matter of remembering all the lessons she collected from training over the past several years that helped her get the victory.
“We had a bit of a strategy going in, (training) with most of the guys I was a bit smaller and had a shorter reach. I had been training closer, and in this fight I was able to fight at my distance. We focused a lot on boxing and that definitely took over in there,” she said.
Donally said Rouble’s performance was about as dominant as you can get.
“First recorded match, 17-year-old against a 34-year-old woman, she looked good,” he said. “She controlled the ring and handled her with her boxing and really controlled her at range. Kicks stayed in her face, then finished her off with a good liver kick.”
Nick Young put forth an equally dominating performance, but didn’t quiet come up with the result he was looking for, as the judges scored the fight a majority draw.
“It went pretty well, first round I dropped him with a punch, I thought it was over for sure,” he recalled.
“I controlled the ring with my boxing… he was taking most of the damage.”
Young knocked his opponent down several times in the opening round, but wasn’t able to finish the fight in the second or third. Young was also hit with a few low kicks, and even though his opponent lost a point in the third round, it was still scored a draw. That taught the teen an important lesson.
“It ended it a draw, so it’s better than a loss,” he said before remembering some sage advice fighters have long passed on.
“Make sure I finish him, don’t let it go to the judges.”
Donally added he was even told by fight promoter Lee Mein that Young should have won the fight.
Amanda Rogers, who now trains out of Grande Prairie but spent the last few years training with Fivestar, lost a split decision in her kickboxing match.
Both Rouble and Young will next strap on their boxing gloves on Dec. 10 at the 2 Rivers Boxing Rumble 21 event in Quesnel. That will be the first step in the long journey to the 2017 B.C. Boxing Provincials, which take place in October of 2017.