Brandon fighters Curtis (The Demon) DeMarce and Noel Harding are both heading south next month — DeMarce to train and Harding to enter the ring again.
After serving a three-month suspension levied by the Manitoba Combative Sports Commission, the 25-year-old DeMarce heads to San Diego next week to prepare for his comeback fight in the Maximum Fighting Championship 38, a pay-per-view mixed martial arts card in Edmonton on Oct. 4. DeMarce was suspended for participating in an unsanctioned bout in the United States in March that he was using to tune up for his first official fight in 18 months after suffering serious injuries in a car accident in Toronto in 2011. The MFC bout will be his first sanctioned MMA fight since undergoing multiple surgeries to repair his shattered right arm.
"It’s been a long time coming and I feel that I am not only lucky and very happy to be able to compete again, but I was lucky just to keep my arm," said DeMarce, who has been visiting family and training in Brandon for much of the summer. "So at the end of the day, this whole 18 months that I have been rehabbing, it’s driven me and made me more hungry and more motivated and I can’t wait ... It’s too bad (the suspension) happened and it just gave me more time to refocus and really think about my career and let my arm heal as well, so I think it could have been a good thing. And now that my time has come, it’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to not only prove to everyone, but prove to myself, too."
DeMarce, a 5-foot-8 lightweight (155 pounds), will put his 13-10 record on the line against 14-5 Alejandro Garcia in the first fight on the main card of MFC 38, which will feature three title fights in the heavyweight (Anthony Hamilton versus Smealinho Rama), middleweight (Jason South versus Sam Alvey) and bantamweight (Tito Jones versus Anthony Birchak) divisions.
"It will be my first official fight back and we just got told on Friday that if I win this fight, I will be fighting for the MFC title, so this is for a title contender," said DeMarce, who is anxious to head back to California for a month of intense training before his comeback bout.
"I’m really healthy, just more anxious to get back to camp and get back to being around my trainers and my coaches and stuff and being isolated and into the training again," he said. "Over the summer I obviously had my fun here in my hometown, but it’s tough when your family and friends are around and they always want to do other things. So it will be good to be isolated and to be strictly training again ... I am going to fight as much as I can before the end of the year and hopefully get a couple of quick wins."
Meanwhile, Harding will put his perfect 2-0 pro boxing record on the line on Sept. 21 in Belcourt, N.D., when he fights American Cheyenne Ziegler (3-10) in a middleweight (160 pounds) bout on the Thunder In the Sky card at the Sky Dancer Casino. The 33-year-old Harding knocked out American Kevin Tjaden 44 seconds into the first round on a card in Belcourt on Aug. 10, his first pro fight since winning his debut back on Oct. 29, 2010.
Next month’s bout will be the first of three fall fight cards Harding is slated to appear on, along with a King John Boxing event at the Winnipeg Convention Centre on Oct. 12 and another card in New Town, N.D., slated for Oct. 26.
"At the end of all this, I will be 5-0 hopefully, with five KOs in a perfect world, so we’ll see how it goes," said Harding, the owner of the Brandon Boxing Club. "Hopefully I will just keep getting fights and wins."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 29, 2013