Thistletown’s McKinley to Games

Connor McKinley will wear Team B.C.’s colours in boxing at the Canada Winter Games next week in Halifax.

Connor McKinley will wear Team B.C.’s colours in boxing at the Canada Winter Games next week in Halifax.

The 16-year-old member of Kelowna’s Thistletown Boxing Club will compete in the 64-kilo class.

According to his coach, boxing at against the nation’s best will be an invaluable epxerience for McKinley.

“The experience he’s going to get at the games you can’t measure,” said Thistletown head coach Graham McIntosh. “He’ll be boxing against several former junior champs.

“Connor is growing as a fighter. He’s well skilled and is dangerous, a very good counter puncher.”

McKinley, the B.C. champ, is coming off a victory at the Diamond Belt competition recently in Richmond. He avenged a defeat to the same opponent earlier in the season, beating Tomi Boreszjo of the Griffins club North Van.

In other Thistletown news, the club took two boxers to the 72nd Saturday Night Fights at Griffins.

Austin Riggs, 12, won his fight in the 48 kg class by a 5-3 score.

Spencer Howard, 15, won his first ever bout in the 60 kg class by TKO. Howard was winning the fight on points 24-5 when it was called by the referee.

“Spencer has only been boxing for five months,” added McIntosh. “I’m impressed with both kids and how well they’re taking to the fundamentals.”

Meanwhile, Thistletown’s Ryan Stewart will make his professional debut March 12 at the River Rock Casino. Stewart, 30, went 20-10 as an amateur.

On the same card will be the Canadian light-heavyweight title bout.

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