Kelowna’s Los Gatos Locos Boxing Club’s annual championship returned on Saturday (Oct. 9) after having to cancel last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The implementation of vaccine mandates brought the return of live sports events, and the club jumped at the opportunity to host a show with limited seating.
“Kelowna is 100% a boxing city,” stated club owner Geoff Lawrence in a press release. “As soon as I announced the show it pretty much sold out.”
This show was a special one for the club, due to the death of member Cailen Vilness in relation to the fatal crane collapse in July. The club decided to dedicate the annual event to Vilness’ memory going forward and is now being called the Cailen Vilness Memorial Championship. The club was also able to get a championship belt for the occasion due to a sponsorship from Shoreline Pile Driving, a dock building company based in Kelowna.
“I wanted the toughest fight possible. I wanted top guys for this title,” said Lawrence.
And top guys he got. Anthony “Anvil” Varela and Donovan Cridland squared off at Saturday’s show. Varela is a Canadian bronze medalist and Cridland is the 2019 B.C. Golden Gloves champion. Both men are well-known at the club, and Lawrence was excited about the lineup.
Overall, the night was amazing for Kelowna. The show raised almost $30,000 for charity and Cridland, who was called Kelowna’s Golden Boy of Boxing in the press release, now owns the championship belt.