With a North American title in her sights, Fort Langley’s Sarah Pucek returns to the squared circle next Friday to fight in front of her hometown fans.
Pro boxing returns to the Coast Hotel ballroom in downtown Langley April 7 with Pucek headlining the card.
Pucek is set to box for the iconic North American Boxing Federation (NABF) title, challenging Marquita Lee of San Francisco for the NABF championship in the 130-pound weight division.
“Some of boxing’s outstanding fights have been for this title,” said Pucek’s manager and trainer Dave Allison. “The second fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier was for a NABF title. Boxing legions such as Muhammad Ali, Thomas Hearn’s, George Foreman, Sonny Liston and Claressa Shields have all won this title.”
If the name ‘Claressa Shields’ seems out of place with the other historic pugilists, “it is something to get used to,” Allison said.
Shields has won Olympic gold twice and as such is the only American boxer, man or woman, to accomplish such a feat.
Shields also became the first woman to win the NABF championship, during a Showtime Boxing show on March 10.
Pucek will look to join Shields, who won the title at 154 pounds.
Women have become very significant in pro boxing over the past 10 years and especially in the past two years, Allison said. Last September Pucek became the first woman to win a British Commonwealth Championship, boxing’s oldest title.
This historic match took place at the Coast Hotel ballroom, where Pucek defeated Montreal’s Lucia Larcenese in a 10-round fight.
Pucek has won every fight at featherweight and has been in the ring for most of the last decade.
She will face a very tough challenge against Lee of San Francisco at super featherweight, four-pounds above Pucek’s normal fighting weight.
After a period of inactivity Lee took on a 19-1-0 Shelly Vincent of Providence Rhode Island in a losing effort over eight-rounds last December.
A win April 7 will secure Pucek as the highest ranked featherweight in the world without a world title belt something she hopes to remedy by the end of 2017.
Allison say she should be in a world title fight by the end of the year.
Pucek/Lee will be the main event April 7 with amateur standout Julian Kim making his pro debut against Ed Reyno from Calgary in the semi main event. Kim is a B.C. amateur champion and pound-for-pound could be B.C.’s best amateur boxer. Reyno is described by Allison as “a tough journeyman who will test Kim and will let him know the difference between the pros and amateurs.”
An exciting amateur undercard will be part of the event and will include Gina Skopelitis who went 1-1-0 against Pucek roughly nine years ago in the amateur ranks.
Langley’s Cal Bennett is coming off a big win at the last Clash at the Cascades March 17.
He will face Elroy Fruto, who has been one of Pucek’s sparring partners to prepare for this Friday’s match.
Tickets can be bought at the door and will be available at 7 p.m. with action getting underway at 7:30 p.m.
Card girls as well as bar service and free parking are all part of the package.
General admission is $40 and kids 12 and under are admitted free.
Tickets will be available at the door.
When: Friday April 7, doors open at 7 p.m., bouts begin at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Coast Hotel and Convention Centre, Langley
Tickets: Available at the door
Main Event: North American Boxing Federation women’s super featherweight title bout
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