TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Brandon’s Josh Sealand lands a punch against Winnipeg’s Brent Jason during the Brandon Boxing Club’s Halloween Hustle amateur card at the Keystone Centre’s UCT Pavilion on Saturday evening.
Saturday’s Halloween Hustle boxing card just may go down as one of Casey Carpenter’s career highlights.
Josh Sealand lands a blow on Brent Jason during the Brandon Boxing Club’s Halloween Hustle Amateur Fight at the Keystone Centre on Saturday evening. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
The former provincial amateur lightweight champion from Brandon came out of retirement for an exhibition match Saturday night against Morris’ Ryan Rear in the Brandon Boxing Club’s amateur card held at the Keystone Centre’s UCT Pavilion. The bout ended quicker than Carpenter had hoped — it was stopped in the first round after Carpenter connected with a right hook that sent Rear stumbling to the ropes — but he loved being back in the ring.
"It was a hell of a feeling," said Carpenter, who had been away from the ring for 17 years. "I didn’t mean to pop the guy like I did, but he threw a pretty good shot and I figure he wants to go harder so I thought why not and landed that right hand. I didn’t mean to do it, but that’s boxing and that’s the way it goes."
Boxing has always meant a lot to the 41-year-old Brandonite. He had a troubled childhood and ended up in jail before joining the Brandon Boxing Club and being taken under the wing of former coach Terry Fowler. Boxing helped Carpenter get on the right track, but he left the sport in 1995 when he became focused on his career as a truck driver.
He got back into it two years ago when his doctor told him he needed to slow down his life or he would have to have back surgery and possibly end up in a wheelchair. Carpenter will also undergo eye surgery next month, which could mean Saturday’s fight was his last.
While he enjoys being in the ring, Carpenter has come to terms with the fact he may not be able to fight again and has started helping Noel Harding and Mike Frederickson to coach the club’s other fighters.
"Now what I’m trying to do is just trying to follow the steps that Terry taught me, and Rocky Addison as well," Carpenter said. "I’m following their footsteps, but I’ll never be able to fill their shoes. I’m just trying to help now with these kids and trying to coach and I’m really, really enjoying it. I love the sport. I love boxing."
Carpenter is impressed with the talent level of the Brandon fighters, who had a successful night at the Halloween Hustle. Brandon boxer Josh Sealand led the way as he improved to 6-0 in his career with a unanimous decision win over Winnipeg’s Brent Jason in a super heavyweight match.
Carpenter is hoping to do his part to help the Brandon club boxers continue to improve.
"I try to work with them and go with their program," he said. "They can learn from me and I can learn from them and we just make better fighters out of the whole deal."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 29, 2012