Members of the Vancouver restaurant industry gathered at SFU Woodward’s Wednesday (July 25) evening to watch their fellow bartenders, baristas and chefs don boxing gloves and take to the ring for a fundraising match.
The Restaurant Rumble 2012, which consisted of three title fights and nine undercard fights, was attended by over 400 people, according to organizers.
Service industry members that participated in the event at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre included Boneta restaurant manager Simon Kaulback, who won the title of Light Heavyweight Champion, Bao Bei manager Chen-Wei Lee, declared the Middleweight Champion title, SuperFeatherweight Champion and Ensemble manager Chris Cho, and Shay Washburn of Woodland Smokehouse, the Women’s Lightweight Champion.
Organizer Tavia Cosper said the funds raised from the event will allow the Aprons for Gloves Boxing Association to open a gym in the Downtown Eastside aimed at helping underprivileged youth.
She explained that one of the boxing coaches involved with the event, Dave Schuck, has been volunteering for many years as a trainer and mentor to youth in the area.
“He’d have them do jobs around the gym to pay for their membership, and he’d make sure they were doing well in school, kept a B average, talked to their caregiver to make sure they were behaving at home so they could remain at the gym," said Cosper.
The Aprons for Gloves Boxing Association was initiated this year after the gym shut down due to a shortage of funds.
“With all the money we’ve raised and all the hard work these guys have done, we’re going to be opening up a gym, a permanent location that doesn’t move around so they don’t lose kids throughout the years,” said Cosper.
“It’ll be open to the public as a membership-based boxing gym, but we’ll also offer the services to the kids of the Downtown Eastside free of charge to keep training with Coach Dave, because he’s a real mentor to these kids, and it was really hard on a lot of them when the gym shut down.”
Over 60 contenders from the service industry had been training for the last 12 weeks with professional boxing coaches for a chance to compete at the Restaurant Rumble event. Cosper said organizers are hoping to host another fundraising boxing match once the gym opens, as early as this fall.
Below are some images of the matches that kicked off the event.