TRENTON — A busy season has begun at the Albion Amateur Boxing Club.
The club plans to host a boxing card on Nov. 16 at the Nova Scotia Community College gym in Stellarton.
Its main event is expected to feature a return match between Matt Fraser from the Albion club and Matt Doyle of the Ko-Ed club in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Fraser won a split decision against Doyle in their previous meeting during the main event for the card hosted by the Westville Boxing Club on Sept. 25 in Alma.
“It’s coming along,” said Walter Linthorne, who has become the Albion club’s head coach. “Matt will likely have a rematch with Doyle.”
Three boxers from Newfoundland and Labrador are also scheduled to fill out the card.
The Albion club has experienced a coaching change, with Linthorne head coach of the competitive boxing program and Al Archibald concentrating on the women’s non-combat program, which operates from 6 to 7 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The competitive boxers work out from 7 to 9 p.m. There are between 20 and 25 boxers working out at any given time.
“I’m pretty much doing the same thing,” Linthorne said.
He said he was pleased with how the Albion boxers performed with so little training after the club took the summer off.
Kaden MacDonald of the Albion club boxed an exhibition bout with Hunter Naugle of the Westville club.
Sadie LeBlanc lost a split decision against Catherine Nelson from Saint John, N.B.
“All three did well with only two weeks’ training,” Linthorne said. “There was a little rust but I was quite pleased.”
Archibald said he’s happy with the women’s program, which has up to 25 members practising.
“It’s going really well,” he said. “The class has been going for four years, so it’s gaining some popularity. I have a group of 14 or 15 that has been with me for four years. Our goal is ‘You don’t have to get hit to get fit.’ One of the biggest things about this is how the girls get to know one other. It’s really caught on.”
Archibald said the confines of the facility prevent the club from expanding its membership beyond what it is.
“We have a waiting list because you have to be careful to have enough gear and enough room. That many skipping rope takes a lot of room.”
Former Albion boxer Shania MacPhee is among those taking part in the women’s program.
“I love it,” she said. “It’s an adjustment because more of them are in better shape than me, but it’s an awesome way to stay in shape. I miss the competition but I’m working full-time. It’s awesome for women looking to get in shape. It’s good to be back with Al and Jim.”
Club president Jim Worthen said the coaching changes appear to be working smoothly.
“Walter’s doing great,” he said. “Walter has been here since he was 10 and is an experienced boxer. Al is working well with the women’s class and it’s growing.”
Worthen said nearly 10 Pictou County boxers could be on the card in November.
“We could have eight or nine locals on our show,” he said. “We’re looking forward to that.”
Matt Fraser exchanges punches with Matt Doyle during their bout on Sept. 21 in Alma. (Goodwin photo)