Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Butt gets welterweight title while veteran beats Pereira

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THERE'S no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Brandt Butt is the Canadian senior light welterweight (64-kilogram) boxing champion.Butt scored a 12-4 decision over Jonathan Bochner of Ontario Sunday in Trois-Rivières, Que., to win the national senior crown.

Judy Pereira of the Power Boxing Club lost in her attempt to win gold to a seasoned defending champion, Ontario's Jacky Park, in the women's 48-kg title fight by a score of 24-1.

Butt and his United Boxing Club coaches J.T. Smith (also provincial coach) and Ryan Savage burned the midnight oil Saturday to develop a game plan for Sunday's title fight, and it paid off.

"I went in there and stuck to the plan we made up the day before," said Butt. "It was working so we kept going to it. We knew that Jonathan was a very awkward fighter, who threw lots of wide looping punches, so the plan was to play a tight defence and use my straight punches (jab and straight left) to my advantage. I also found that my being left-handed gave him some trouble."

Still, Butt, who last year won a bronze medal at the junior nationals and was selected for the junior national championships, got an unwelcome wake-up call during the first round.

"He actually caught me early in the first round with a right on my chin. I was a little stunned for a couple of seconds, but I regained my legs and was good to go. In the third round I caught him with a left that actually knocked him down for an eight count."

Silver medallist Pereira was philosophical about her loss. "Just getting in the ring with someone with her experience... I mean she has fought all over the world, and most girls don't even go the distance with her, but I went the distance. I will take this fight, and the whole championship tournament, as a learning experience."

Butt says he may take a day off to rest before getting back into the gym to prepare for the National Team Selection Trials in Edmonton Feb. 25-March 2. "My opponents are going to be working really hard, so I will have to work harder."

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 26, 2009 C4

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