Nervous debut for novice boxer
Karan Salgotra made his amateur boxing debut Friday night at Ray McGibbon Gloves Viva Las Vegas card held at the Optimist Club on Napier Street.
The St. Catharines Boxing Club member engaged in a spirited 230-pound fight with Marc Luciano of the Huf Boxing Club. Plenty of punches were landed and the exhibition bout was declared a draw.
“I was really nervous, especially having to start the show with the first fight,” the 26-year-old native of New Delhi, India, said. “In my weight category, the shots always come heavy but I got a really good taste of how the fights are going to look like in the future if I want to continue fighting which I will, for sure.”
Salgota enjoyed fighting in front of a full hall of enthusiastic fans.
“First of all it is the adrenaline,” he said. “There is something about this sport that you can’t stay away from it once you are in it. It keeps you going and it’s a family thing.”
He had plenty of support for his debut.
“I had lot of friends and coworkers here to see me fight even if it was just an exhibition.”
Although it was just an exhibition, both boxers landed some heavy punches that obviously hurt.
“I can’t remember any one that was the worst but it’s the name of the game. When you put all that weight behind punches, you feel them but it was a great experience” Salgotra said. “I loved it, I loved every single moment I was in the ring and, for sure, you will see me in the ring fighting again.”
He knows ring experience is a key component in becoming a better boxer.
“You get hit, you hit back and as you get more experienced, you change the game and you hit and you don’t get hit.”
Salgotra came to Canada in 2103 to study at Niagara College and ended up making Niagara his home.
The Thorold resident works at Niagara College as a housing and settlement advisor, helping international students find places to stay and helping to get them settled into the community.
He started training at the St. Catharines Boxing Club about a year ago after hearing about the club from a coworker.
“I fell in love with the place,” he said. “The whole place was great and everyone treated me like family so I couldn’t stop coming.”
Salgotra can’t say enough about the St. Catharines club.
“It is a family affair. They treat you so good from Day 1 and they welcomed me as their brother,” he said. “They have treated me so well, trained me and showed me all the basics. It never felt like I wasn’t from here. They make feel like I am one of them and have been at the club for many, many years.”
He has also found a home in Canada, specifically Niagara.
“I moved here to get a better education and when I came to the region it was just developing,” Salgotra said. “One of things that helped me here were the people. The people of the Niagara region are so lovely and so welcoming and everyone has treated me so well.
“I feel like it is home now.”
Proceeds from Friday’s event will be used to send the St. Catharines Boxing Club team to Las Vegas.