Truro boxing club fighter wins provincial title fight at weekend card in Bible Hill
McGrady wins on home turf
TRURO - Standing in the centre of the ring with the referee and his opponent, Ryan McGrady had no idea which way the judges' decision would go.
He knew he had lost all of the first three rounds on points, so when the official raised his hand as the victor in a 14-13 decision over the City of Lakes Boxing Club's Mike Campbell, he was as surprised as any of the 800 people inside the Agridome Saturday at the 16-bout Nova Scotia Amateur Boxing Championships.
"Yeah," the 18-year-old Truro Amateur Boxing Club member said with a laugh. "I felt it was a close fight and I wasn't sure which way it was going to go."
Judging by the crowd's reaction to the decision - a mix of cheers and disappointment - they didn't either. McGrady, a Bridgewater native who's now living in Truro while taking recreation leadership at Nova Scotia Community College, came into the 64kg bout with a game plan to get inside and put together combinations on Campbell.
But the agile opponent was successful at bobbing and weaving away from McGrady's fists for the first three rounds of the fight.
"I don't underestimate opponents but he was a lot tougher than I thought he was going to be," McGrady said.
Coach Ron Lamb said Campbell's style gave McGrady plenty of complications and took him off his game.
"Ryan likes to just stand in there and go," Lamb said. "But this guy just wouldn't stand still and just kept ducking."
And landing punches of his own. By the end of the second round McGrady was down 4-2 and knew after the third round he needed to make up for lost ground.
All through the final round McGrady was able to score points with shots in close with Campbell, enough that Lamb thought he did enough to win the fight.
"I was just hoping that the judges saw what I saw," he said. "He knew he had to give it his all and he scored a lot of points inside."
The bout was named fight of the night. Now McGrady is looking for a chance to compete at the national championships in Halifax in February and is also hoping to represent Canada at the Gaelic Youth Championships in Ireland in March.