Sports

South Surrey boxer to fight for B.C. welterweight belt

Josh Wright will fight for the provincial 147-pound welterweight title Friday in Langley. - Contributed
Josh Wright will fight for the provincial 147-pound welterweight title Friday in Langley.
— image credit: Contributed

South Surrey boxer Josh Wright is set to fight for a second belt this weekend at Langley’s Cascades Casino.

On Friday, the 29-year-old Ocean City Boxing fighter, who fights in the 154-pound super-welterweight division – and currently holds the provincial title belt in that weight class – will drop down to the 147-pound welterweight division and fight Maple Ridge’s Oliver Vadja for that B.C. title. The title was vacated after the former champion, who was scheduled to fight Wright in January, backed out of the fight.

Now, the top two contenders will duke it out.

The decision to fight at a lower weight class is both practical – at five-foot-nine, Wright often fights opponents larger than him in the 154-pound division – and strategic.

Should he be successful Friday, Wright would have the choice to compete at Western Canadian championships in either division, giving him more options en route to nationals and, beyond that, world amateur championships.

“It gives me a chance at a second belt, so that’s the game plan. But really, 147 is where I want to be. My last couple fights I’ve come in light… so I figured I’d cut some weight and fight smaller guys instead of all these six-foot-tall guys I’ve been fighting,” he laughed.

“Those guys have more reach, and you end up ducking a lot more punches. I don’t mind getting punched in the face, but you’ve gotta draw the line somewhere, right?”

Wright, who also fights in mixed martial arts, figures he has more boxing experience than Vadja, and is feeling confident after close to a year of solid training.

Wright had been working on Pender Island for a few years, and not training regularly until he returned to the Lower Mainland in 2013.

“I hadn’t been training, and I lost a few fights in that period just because I don’t like to turn anything down,” he said. “It probably wasn’t the best decision, but what do I care? I just like to fight.

“I’ve been back training pretty solid for a year now though, and I feel good. I’m looking forward to it.”

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