Boxer Eric Basran recently returned from an international tournament riding an emotional roller coaster of success and heartbreak.
Basran, 16, was competing at the 15th-Annual Ringside World Championships in Kansas City Missouri, a tournament that attracts boxers from around the world.
This year’s event, held from Aug. 3-8, featured 1,900 fighters from eight to 40, from beginners to experienced.
Although Basran is only 16, he fought in the 17 to 18-year-old, 114 pound (52 kg) Open category – the highest calibre for his age group.
Basran has only been boxing for two years and due to limited opponents locally and a lack of training partners, had only eight previous fights prior to the Kansas tournament.
“He has very limited experience,” said coach Jerry Veerasammy, “and at this event their are boxers from around the world with 100 or more bouts.”
In the first match of the ten-fighter division, Basran defeated Las Vegas champion Alejandro Dominguez to advance to the second round. He then faced Thomas Blumenfeld, the current Canadian Champion and World Medalist, a fighter Basran had lost to at the National Championships earlier this year. In a “razor thin” decision Basran beat Blumenfeld in the final round.
But his fortune turned the following day, when he was hit by a bout of food poisoning. Tournament doctors said he could not compete in the semi-finals and his opponent was given a “walk-over” win, ending the tournament for Basran.
While disappointing, longtime coach Veerasammy remains confident in the young boxer’s bright future.
”He has tremendous long reach, good boxing eyes and an innate sense of range and he hits like a mule,” he said. “He’s gifted and a very hard worker. Talent can take you to the top but like every athlete, lifestyle will determines Eric’s path, so it’s all up to him how far he goes.”
Basran is now focussing on the Northern Alberta Gold Glove Championships in Edmonton on Oct. 3.