Eskasoni boxing card postponed

·2 min read

ESKASONI, N.S. — An Eskasoni Red Tribe boxing card has been postponed until further notice because of the recent rise in COVD-19 cases in the province.

“Things can be moved around and rescheduled, but a life can’t be rescheduled, we have to look out for our safety,” said Barry Bernard, Eskasoni Red Tribe boxing owner and coach.

The card was originally scheduled for Dec. 5 at the Sarah Denny Cultural Centre in Eskasoni and would have featured 14 amateur bouts with fighters from across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Because of the increase in active COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Bernard thought it best to reschedule.

The card would have excluded audience members but would have been streamed on YouTube and the Eskasoni television channel. The main event fighters would have been Oromocto Boxing Club’s Josh Melvin and Eskasoni’s Israel Regalado.

The 20-year-old Regalado made his boxing debut in October during the Lights Out drive-in boxing card which saw audience members watching the fights from the safety of their cars while the fights streamed on a 30-foot screen. Regalado won that fight against Crandall University boxer Jacob MacCallum.

Headlining a card would have been special but Regalado understands safety comes first.

“In the beginning, I was kind of sad but then when I thought about it, it was the best option we had,” said Regalado.

The young man identifies as half-Aboriginal and half-Spanish and grew up in both Eskasoni and Guatemala. He spends most of his days training and says it has been his focus. He trained for an entire year before making his amateur debut and was glad to display his skills.

Regalado spends most of his time training and with his girlfriend and he thinks boxing in Eskasoni helps keep people grounded.

“I feel like it helps young people that don’t know what to do,” said Regalado.

And he said he will keep training until the next card is scheduled.

It is that drive that impresses his coaches, like Bernard.

Bernard says Regalado has a strong character and work ethic and believes headlining a card will mean a lot for his future, something he hopes will happen sooner rather than later.

Ideally, he’d like to have the next boxing card in January, but it all depends on the pandemic.

“We have to take care of our community first,” said Bernard.

Oscar Baker III, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cape Breton Post