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Wednesday, 07 March 2012 14:12

Swift Current boxer returns with medal from nationals

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By Matthew Liebenberg — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For 16-year-old Swift Current boxer Jarid Clarke, his second trip to the national junior boxing championships proved to be a successful one.

He returned with a bronze medal from the 2012 Junior/Youth National Championships and FTS that took place from Feb. 28 to March 3 in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. He participated as a member of the Boxing Saskatchewan team in the junior male 57 kilogram category.

“It feels pretty good,” he said about the medal.

Clarke, who turned 16 just after the event, also went to nationals last year. He then participated as an under age boxer and he lost his one bout. It was especially important for him to get his first win at nationals.

That victory came on Feb. 29 during his first fight against Nova Scotia’s Travis Benoit, which Clarke won 16-8 on points.

“I just fought my best,” he said. “I was zoned right in and I just fought really good.”

His second and final fight was a tight one he lost 9-5 against Ontario’s Zack Ridgewell.

“I lost the first round, I beat him in the second and then I lost again in the third.”

He felt he could have done better because he was not as focused during this match. His opponent also had a height advantage.

“He was really tall and every time I tried to get in on the inside he would just grab me and hold me there,” he said.

Robert Hattum, who is his coach at the Swift Current Friendship Centre Boxing Club, watched the two fights online. He estimated the other boxer was about a foot taller. He felt Clarke did really well at nationals.

“I was quite impressed with how he did this year,” he mentioned.

Clarke’s next fight will be March 30 at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina, where he will participate in the Lonsdale Boxing Club’s eighth annual Battle of the Prairies. This Olympic-style boxing event features boxers from the local club against some of the best boxing prospects from across western Canada in a dinner show setting. Clarke, who has been to the Battle of the Prairies twice before, considered it to be one of his favourite places to fight.

In April he will be going on a trip to Wales. He was invited by Boxing Saskatchewan to be part of a group that will go on a return boxing trip to Wales after a team from that country came to Saskatchewan last year.

“That’ll be very good for Jarid,” Hattum said. “He’ll be fighting some of the top-notch amateur Welsh boxers and get some international experience.”


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