The Friday night bouts of the “Banger in the Hangar” on October 15, 2004, Canada versus USA, provided a London audience with a real taste of great boxing. The London Convention Centre hosted over 700 people for a night of fine dining and boxing nostalgia. The event, coordinated by the Community Spirit Foundation of Western Ontario and Boxing Ontario, raised $70,000 for the Grand Theatre and Orchestra London. Boxing Ontario supplied a stellar 5-bout card that had the crowd on its feet and the boxers and coaches who attended in awe.
The first bout featured Joel Mills of Taber, Alberta versus Willie Nelson of Cleveland. Joel, Canada’s Under-19 National Champion (69kg) threw some powerful punches, but had difficulty getting inside of the tall and rangy Nelson. Nelson won the bout on unanimous decision.
Bout # 2 featured 4-Time National Champion Debbie Richards versus #1 Ranked Featherweight Teresa O’Toole of New York. Despite a solid effort by O’Toole, who last week won the National PAL Tournament in Virginia Beach, Richards scored easily with a flurry of combinations and also won a unanimous decision that pleased the hometown fans.
The third bout cast 2-Time National Heavyweight Champion Justin White versus Tim Skolnik of Marquette. Skolnik was a sparring team member for the USA Olympic squad. This was a rugged contest with rabbit punches and mouthpieces flying and in the end it came down to a tight 3-2 decision in favour of the American.
Bout # 4 was a Super Heavyweight dousy. Calgary’s Matt Mychajliv, reigning National Champ and recent Ringside winner, battled Chicago’s Russell Felger. By the 2nd round Mychajliv was rocking Felger around the ring with a barrage of body and crowd-gasping head shots. Still, the big American hung in and even fought back in the 4th, but too little too late. Mychajliv won by unanimous decision.
The main event was saved for local Police Officer and boxing pit bull Jenn Ogg, and she did not disappoint. Boxing Nesheba Thomas of Toledo, last year’s #1 Ranked Lightweight, Jenn came out quick and never let up. The crowd urged Jenn on as she outclassed Thomas and scored a technical knockout in the 3rd Round. This was Ogg’s last fight in the city of London and she was extremely pleased to win big in front of her hometown, friends, and family.
Boxing Ontario would like to thank all of the boxers, coaches, officials, and volunteers who helped make this event so successful. This was a great opportunity to expose our sport to a new audience and the boxing presentation was very professional and exciting.
We also thank TOP TEN Canada for their contributions to this event through boxing equipment and apparel for our star athletes. TOP TEN is working hard to help Ontario amateur boxing, show them your appreciation by making your next equipment purchase with TOP TEN!!!
Lastly, Boxing Ontario would like to thank the Community Spirit Foundation of Western Ontario for its support and Jenn Ogg, for all the hard work she has undertaken on this event for the past year. We hope to be back in London in 2005!