First Syd­ney pro box­ing card in al­most 30 years might not be the last


Those who climb into the ring for the first pro­fes­sional fight card in Syd­ney in al­most three decades and those pro­mot­ing the night are well versed in the his­tory of the sport lo­cally and abroad.

Cen­tre 200, L-jack Pro­mo­tions and Thun­der Box­ing will bring pro fight­ing back to the cen­tre on Nov. 25 with a nine-fight card fea­tur­ing fight­ers from Canada, Slo­vakia and Mex­ico.

It’ll be the first pro­fes­sional card in Syd­ney since 1988 when Wil­lie Dewitt de­feated Tony Mor­ri­son, and likely won’t be the last.

“In Cape Bre­ton, the his­tory of box­ing is so great,” said Paul Mac­don­ald, gen­eral man­ager Cen­tre 200, dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s press con­fer­ence for the card.

“There are so many great peo­ple who have been in­volved in it. I just felt the time was right.”

Re­serve Mines na­tive Aubrey Macleod is part of the team that built L-jack Pro­mo­tions.

They’ve al­ready brought pro­fes­sional box­ing back to Fred­er­ic­ton with nu­mer­ous suc­cess­ful cards, and he’s hop­ing the same can hap­pen in Syd­ney.

“When Cen­tre 200 was built they did three shows here and then it just dis­ap­peared for a long long time,” Macleod said. “It’s got a huge box­ing his­tory and we are hop­ing we can bring that back.”

A look through Cape Bre­ton’s box­ing his­tory, he said, will re­veal a long list of pro fight nights all around the is­land.

A suc­cess­ful re­turn, could mean new op­por­tu­ni­ties for the many qual­ity fight­ers from Cape Bre­ton who are al­ready find­ing suc­cess at the amateur level.

“Box­ing didn’t go away, just the pro­fes­sional box­ing kind of died off for a lit­tle bit,” he said.

One of the more ac­com­plished for­mer ama­teurs Macleod ref­er­enced was Ryan Roz­icki.

The Syd­ney fighter will take to the ring for the main event of the up­com­ing card for his third pro bout when he goes toe-to-toe with the third ranked cruis­er­weight in Slo­vakia.

A great fighter from box­ing’s his­tory, though not a Cape Bre­toner, re­mains the brawler Roz­icki fash­ions his bud­ding ca­reer af­ter.

“We are do­ing it a dif­fer­ent way than most pros to­day, we are tak­ing the hard road,” he said.

“I am go­ing to prove some­thing ev­ery fight. If you fol­low Face­book and stuff I say a lot I am a mod­ern day Jack Dempsey, in that case I mean tak­ing the tough road like he did. We are not here to pick easy fights.”

As a re­sult, Roz­icki promised lo­cal fans an exciting fight.

“If you watch the amateur fights and my pro fights so far you know I don’t look to leave it up to the judges. I look for the knock­outs.”

On fight night, Mac­don­ald said pro­mo­tors plan to pay trib­ute to Cape Bre­ton’s box­ing past as they at­tempt to set the stage for its fu­ture.

“I think that’s a re­ally im­por­tant thing to let the fans know and then it al­lows the new guys com­ing in to un­der­stand we have a his­tory.”

He said that re­minder to some and in­tro­duc­tion to oth­ers should go a long way to­wards re­build­ing the pro­fes­sional side of sport in this area.

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