Red Deer business man David Belcher returns to the same ring tonight that launched his boxing odyssey.
Belcher fought in the first Rumble in Red Deer put on by the Red Deer and District Boxing Club six years ago in the white collar division that pits first time boxers against each other with only a few weeks of training.
He got his butt whooped that night, but he was hooked.
“He had never been in the ring before, he put the gloves on and said ‘I can give this a try,” said Rumble in Red Deer 6 matchmaker Colin Acheson. “He was dropped in his first fight against a big kid from Calgary named Tim Burris who used to play football for the University of Calgary Dinos. He walked into the gym the next Monday and said ‘I want to learn how to do this.’”
He no longer fights white collar bouts.
Since then he was won three Ringside world championship belts, including this past weekend in Miami.
Tonight at the Harvest Centre, Belcher, 48, who now fights out of the Teofista Club in Calgary will match up across from Rick Duff of the Lethbridge Boxing Club who represented Canada at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal in a Superheavy Masters fight. The masters division consists of three, one-minute rounds and the boxers wear 16-ounce gloves.
“Who says old guys can’t fight, right?” said Acheson.
It is just one of 10 amateur fights on the card, headlined by Ringside heavyweight champion Petru Bolun out of Calgary against Alberta provincial champion Ben Alvarez out of Edmonton. Alvarez has about a 20-pound weight advantage on Bolun who is moving up a division to take the fight, but Acheson says it should be an exciting fight.
“It’s a match made in heaven for a matchmaker,” said Acheson. “Bolun is extremely strong, he’s a powerful, powerful puncher and he has some MMA experience, a very effective boxer. Ben Alvarez is a pure boxer, beautiful boxer, he moves well. It’s a clash of styles which is what makes a fight.”
Also on the card is Red Deer’s Cudillo twins. Lester Cudillo will be fighting Morwat Sirkhan out of Calgary in a 120-pound youth bout while Lowie Cudillo will be fighting Blake McPhee out of Fort McMurray at the 136-pound youth open level.
Red Deer’s Brian Samuel will also take on James Jung out of the South Side Boxing Club at the 152-pound division.
There are two white collar fights set, Dave Polutnik of Red Deer takes on Ryan Broadhead of Calgary at the superheavy novice level and Brett Salomans of Red Deer fights Shaiq Muhammed of Calgary at the heavyweight senior level.
Rumble in Red Deer is traditionally a boxing gala dinner show, but for the first time there will be tickets available at the door for any last minute boxing fans. Dinner goes at 6 p.m. with the fights starting at 7 p.m. The doors open for walk up tickets at 6:30 p.m.
This year the Rumble in Red Deer is supporting the Alberta SPCA through a silent auction, a 50-50 draw and other initiatives.