Pair of PA boxers return from card in Calgary

Photo by Nathan Reiter. Lukas Tamayo (left) and Cole Ahenakew (right) use jump rope to warm up before a training session on Dec. 20, 2022

It was an eventful weekend for the Red Wolf Boxing Club as they had two fighters compete in Calgary last weekend.

Lukas Tamayo and Cole Ahenakew took to the ring in Calgary representing Red Wolf and both boxers took on opponents they both had familiarity with.

Lukas Tamayo, 15, took on Kaden Hunter in his match, coming into the fight Tamayo and Hunter had faced each other twice, with each boxer having one victory.

Tamayo would come out victorious in the rubber match by unanimous decision. He says it was an incredible feeling to win, even if he didn’t show a lot of emotion at the time.

“That was a good feeling to finally get him that third time. I knew I had a fight come up and the work went up and I found out it was him and that was my chance to get it finally. When I was able to do it, I was not actually smiling. When they raised my hand, and I was just stone faced. I wasn’t trying to be tough, it was just so much at once and nothing came out. Just a great feeling.”

Tamayo adds that he didn’t significantly change his training regiment leading up to the fight.

“We focus a little less on conditioning just because you don’t want to be super exhausted when you get there. Before that, it’s always on. Our cardio has to be top tier, we have to be working on getting better at technical boxing.”

Tamayo was quick to credit his fellow boxer Cole Ahenakew for being a big part in his success in the ring.

“That is really good. Having a team, you can trust in general is super important. With Cole, he has so much experience on me and is such a good boxer. Having someone like that in the gym I can aspire to be like but is also my friend, that’s a great feeling. I look up to him a lot.”

Ahenakew says Tamayo also plays a critical role in helping him become a better boxer in the ring.

“It’s very motivational. He motivates me. We both push each other to reach new heights with our training. He’s very hard working so that really helps. He gives me the work when I’m sparring. He’s a great guy to be around, good energy good vibes.”

Ahenakew was matched up with  Manu Al Awat in his fight in Calgary. The two had previously matched up last year in Prince Albert with Ahenakew taking home a victory.

Al Awat is the more experienced of the two fighters with over 40 bouts with Ahenakew having 15.

Ahenakew says he didn’t feel overwhelmed by his opponent because of his experience.

“I wasn’t intimidated at all; I just saw a blank face. I was very confident in there when I was fighting him. He’s just another guy. That’s the way I saw it anyway.”

It was a very entertaining close match, but victory was award to Al Awat by split decision.

Despite the loss, Ahenakew says he felt that he executed his technical game better in the match in Calgary compared to when he fought in Prince Albert.

“I feel like I boxed more this fight, the one at home I really went to war because my family was there and I wanted to put on a show. Over there, I focused on my boxing.”

For Ahenakew, boxing has been more than just a sport for him. He says it has played a critical role in his mental health.

“Boxing has improved my mental health. My battle with anxiety and depression, it’s been a big help with my mental health and it’s my balance. I go to school at the same time I’m doing this and it helps me find my balance in life. It’s really saved me.”

The Red Wolf Boxing Club is set to host a Silver Gloves boxing tournament in Prince Albert in January.