Tuesday, March 13, 2007

River Rock takes swing at boxing

By Bob Mackin

River Rock Casino Resort is going pro.

The Richmond gambling destination wants to bring big prize fights to the banks of the Fraser River after city council established the Richmond Athletic Commission last fall.

Rick Henderson, John Singh, Harry Opal and ex-pro fighter Gord Racette were appointed to the panel with Coun. Harold Steeves last month. They'll regulate and license professional boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts in Richmond.

"We took a great step with the Golden Gloves, we went large bringing them here," said Great Canadian Gaming spokesman Howard Blank. "Now let's go large professionally."

Blank said the Show Theatre, which will host the 68th B.C. Golden Gloves on March 23 and 24, is ideal for pro bouts.

Golden Gloves features Canadian women's 54-kg champion Lydia Walczak of Queensborough and men's 91-plus kg Olympic hopeful Brennan Lowrie of North Burnaby.

"This is really the start of an Olympic dream for boxers across Canada," said Golden Gloves' promoter Manny Sobral.

Sobral, MVP of the 1986 Golden Gloves, represented Canada at the 1988 Seoul Olympics before turning pro.


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