Bate takes another tournament title 

Whistler's Geoff Bate is now 10-1 after winning two bouts on his way to the Senior Novice 75-kilogram Bronze Gloves Title, the eighth and final stop on Boxing B.C.'s "Road to Glory" tournament series.

Bate now has four wins in the series, includng the Diamond Belt, Bronze Gloves, Silver Gloves and Golden Gloves - the latter being the provincial championship.

His most recent title came after two fights at Queensborough Community Centre in New Westminster.

On the first night Bate faced a tough, experienced fighter from the Nanaimo Boxing Club who came out strong and took the lead in points after the first round. Bate picked up the pace in the second round to tie things up heading into the third and final round, where all of his hours of conditioning work paid off. Fit and fast, he took the lead and held on until the end to advance to the final the next evening.

"I worked all week so I didn't get much rest and my legs were pretty tired... so I had a sloppy first round fight and lost the first round," said Bate. "That night I had some sleep and rest and felt a lot better and moved a lot faster in the next fight."

The second fight was against an unorthodox boxer from Olsen's Boxing Club, who kept his hands down and his head moving. Bate kept to his plan and took all three rounds of that fight to win his second decision in as many nights and the Bronze Gloves title.

Bate's trainer Sasha Gier thanked Kevin Murray of the Pemberton Boxing Club for coaching Bate from the corner, and Gabe Pryce-Jones for being Bate's sparring partner at the new Pemberton Gym.

"I'm happy with the season and how it ended," said Gier, who has been training Bate since the end of last summer. "The plan now is to take a week off to rest and sit down and then start to get ready for next season. (Bate) will be in the open class from the beginning, so all of the fighters will have more experience. We'll get back to work in September."

Bate trains six days a week - three days of conditioning, two days of skills and technique training and one day of sparring - at the Pemberton Boxing Club. He recently moved up into the open class from amateur, which means all of his opponents will have least 10 fights to their credit. As well, the length of rounds increased from two minutes to three minutes, a huge difference in a sport as physically demanding as boxing.

"You can go for broke a lot more when it's two minute rounds, but for three minutes you really have to plan things out and be more strategic," said Bate.

"It's been a good season. I feel I could have been 11-0, but unfortunately I played it stupid and didn't fight the way I should have on that one loss. When I faced him again I won all three rounds by a huge margin, and I know I could have done the same in our first fight.

"Everybody has to lose... it's the only way you learn. I don't think there are any totally undefeated people in boxing."

Bate says he will keep his conditioning up to around 80 per cent through the summer, and will continue to train and spar. He's looking forward to a break from fighting, and making plans to climb a few of the local peaks.

When he returns to training at the end of the summer, he says he will have his work cut out for him. One of the first events on the schedule is the provincial championships.

"I am looking forward to next season, although it's a way bigger commitment because I've had a glimpse at the open class competitors I'll be fighting and I'm going to need to step the game up," he said. "Some of these guys have been boxing five or six years, and I've been in it for less than a year."



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