Speirs to turn pro at hometown card
Thomas Speirs is stepping into the professional boxing ring.
If the Spruce Capital Warriors’ plan falls into place, his first bout at the next level will be in his hometown. The Warriors are aiming to hold a card on March 2 at the Roll-A-Dome, with Speirs’ pro debut featured as the main event.
“We’re getting someone for sure,” Speirs says. “I just don’t know where from at this point.”
Warriors head coach Wayne Sponagle has contacted KO Boxing in Edmonton to try and find Speirs a suitable opponent. He’s also looked into bringing someone from Medicine Hat, Alta., or his home province of Nova Scotia. The headline match will consist of four three-minute rounds.
“I’m calling this fight card Thomas’ first step to a world championship, and that’s what I honestly feel, I honestly believe,” he says.
Speirs, 22, decided to turn pro last year. After a break for the summer, he expressed his desire to Sponagle.
“He wanted me to go to one more nationals or whatever,” Speirs says. “But then we surely realized after the Olympics (in London) that there wasn’t going to be another nationals this year.”
The timing of the move also seemed appropriate for Speirs. Since 2012 was a Summer Olympics year, Boxing Canada decided not to hold senior nationals for the 2012-13 season. Senior amateur boxers have to wait until at least the fall to compete in nationals for the 2013-14 campaign.
Speirs’ step to pro falls in line with the Warriors’ new affiliation as a member of Combsport (The British Columbia Combative Sports Association). Anybody who knows Sponagle is aware of his preference for professional-style judging, so the news may not be sending shockwaves through the amateur boxing world.
As a member of Boxing BC, the Warriors followed Olympic-style computer scoring. As a pro, Speirs won’t have an opportunity to try qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Having only been with the association since the fall, the March 2 card will be the Warriors’ first as Combsport members.
“The fans are going to be much, much more entertained. The fights are going to move along, you’re not going to have a referee in there stopping, stopping, warning this and warning that,” Sponagle says. “The guys that do this pitty-pat, cover-up style, that’ll be gone. Anybody that goes in and tries to fight that style is going to get hurt, is going to get broken ribs.
“They’re having great success with (Combsport) down in the Lower Mainland. At amateur fights, they’re 600, 700 people at their amateur boxing cards.”
Although he doesn’t have a title name for the card, Sponagle has ironed out some details for the March 2 event. The start time is set for 7 p.m., with 13 amateur matches already lined up. Ticket prices are set at $40 (two rows of ringside seating), $30 (tables catered by Westwood Sports Pub) and $20 (rush seating).
Among other pugilists featured is Speirs’ training partner Marcus Hume, who will throw punches in a B.C. championship match.
Sponagle noted that the card will be filled entirely with senior matches. Sponagle points out that unlike Olympic-style amateur boxing, senior boxers in Combsport don’t wear head gear.
Speirs has been training regularly to prepare for the March 2 bout.
“It’s more aiming to hurt the guy, making all my punches count and making sure I do the right moves so I’m not getting caught,” he says, “and I’ve been working more on the inside, being tougher on the inside.”