The Canadian Nationals and the quest to be the best are next year`s dream for our local boxer Saqa7 Kage-Thevarge, who just returned from this year`s event in Quebec City.
He drew a bye in the first round of eliminations, but then drew the two-time Ontario Golden Gloves champion Mike Cabato in the second round of eliminations. Saqa7 was looking good early in the bout’s first round with lightning jabs, working inside with hooks and scoring very well until his opponent landed a devastating overhand right.
Down for a brief second, then back up, his gloves high, Saqa7 was ready, but the referee would only let him continue after a standing count. He just couldn`t recover enough to get that same form back. Late in the round, the referee stopped the contest.
Coach Bob Pegues, head of the Team B.C. National Team, is very cautious about injuries and agreed with the referee`s decision. Coach Pegues described the fight as "A tough break for Saqa7 who was looking great right up to the blow. Saqa7's unique relentless style usually gives him the opportunity to wear more experienced boxers down. We are looking forward to Saqa7's return to Team BC to try again next year!"
Saqa7 qualified to represent Team B.C. at the Canadian Nationals 2016 by first winning the B.C. Provincial Championship title in the lightweight division. The B.C. Championships were held in Victoria. He then attended the grueling week-long tryout and conditioning camp in Kelowna, which always precedes the final selection for Team B.C.
At last year’s Canadian Nationals, Saqa7 fought as a junior and was rewarded with a bronze medal. This year he was entered in the Youth 60 Kilo division.
But his quest for gold, and to be the Canadian Champion, will have to wait another year. And Saqa7, the warrior from N`Quatqua and two-time B.C, Champion, is looking forward to his next chance when he will be stronger, faster, with his skills more finely honed. He trained hard, gave it all he had and of course is a bit disappointed, but not discouraged. If anything, he is even more determined.
One major disadvantage for Saqa7 is a lack of sparring because of geographical reasons. There are just not enough sparring partners in this area.
Sparring is so critical to a boxer’s development and, as coaches, we hope to improve this.
The Just Do It Sports organization and the Boxing Club membership and coaches are very proud of his achievements and appreciate the hard work and sacrifices Saqa7 has had to make to reach this level.
We still have a full calendar, with more provincial fights scheduled in Quesnel, Vancouver, Mission and Victoria. We are also very grateful to the many local contributors and volunteers and the Boxing B.C. organization who make these trips possible.
We are very hopeful that the Lillooet community’s support will be rewarded with a Canadian National Champion.
For now, it’s back to the hard training, sweat and preparation it takes to achieve this.