Written by John Summers
The newly formed Blue Earth Boxing Club got their first taste of competition in Fort Belknap, three weekends ago, with five fighters stepping into the ring to compete.
Andrew Azure, Mason Garfield, Josh Maloy, Tarryn Lilley and Brandon Hapa competed at the event. Hapa, 11 years old, placed first at 82 pounds and was awarded a trophy. Azure, who said his favorite sport is boxing, placed sixth at 90 pounds. Maloy and Lilley also competed.
The original Blue Earth Boxing Club was coached by Roy Harris and had several youth train at the club, including Robert Deserly, who became a three-time Golden Gloves champion. The club, which has been inactive for years, is giving youth a chance to exercise, learn the basics of boxing, make new friends and give them a competitive outlet.
The club, which recently began practicing at the old Bryan's building in downtown Wolf Point, is coached by Doug Garfield, a former member of the Blue Earth Boxing Club when he was a youth. He teaches up to 30 youth each week.
"I want to thank Doug ,our coach, for his time and making this boxing club a success," Hapa said.
Garfield coaches boys and girls — sometimes as many as 30 youth — on Wednesday and Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. The youth learn how to punch by doing drills and hitting different punching bags.
They also wear protective headgear, gloves and mouth pieces while they spar with others of the same skill level and weight. These two-minute sessions gives both boxers a chance to use the skills they learned during practice.
In addition to the hitting drills and sparring, boxers do calisthenics performed with lots of pushups, pull-ups, sit-ups, medicine ball work and jump rope sessions.
"Everyone is welcome to stop by the club and watch us train," Maloy said.
On Nov. 2, the club will return to Fort Belknap to fight again.
"Wish us luck,” Lilley said. “Boxing is a great thing for us. It keeps us out of trouble."