Airdrie boxer knocked to the canvas in first pro fight
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 10:03 am
The professional boxing debut for Airdrie’s Justin Sluchinski did not go according to plan.
The 25 year old was knocked out by Calgary opponent Lukasz Wierzbicki just 2:56 into the opening round during a welterweight bout at the Redemption Under the Tent fight card at the Roadhouse Tent in Calgary on July 6.
“Things were going well up until that point,” Sluchinski said.
“I just got caught with a right hook to the jaw and that was it.”
“It felt like things were going to the gameplan up to that point, but that’s how quickly things can change in boxing,” he added. “I have a lot of respect for Lukasz, that’s for sure.”
Sluchinski, who had a 10-1 amateur record going into the bout, took the fight on short notice after Wierzbicki’s previous opponent (Bill Arnott) dropped out.
In addition to the limited time of training, Sluchinski was also dealing with injured ribs, which he nursed going into the fight.
“For Justin, even though he took the fight on short notice and even with that rib injury that he was dealing with, I think he did a good job,” Trinity Boxing Academy Coach Kelly Brown said. “His opponent was a little bit bigger than he was and had more time to train for the fight, and he outpowered Justin as a result.”
“It takes a lot of guts to get in there though, no matter if you go in with a lot of time to train or little time at all to prepare,” he added. “Justin did everything we set out to do and we followed to a tee with his head movements and his quick speed, but he just got caught with one punch.”
One of the positive things that Sluchinski took away from his first pro fight was how different that atmosphere was around the venue in comparison to his time in the amateur ranks.
“There’s a buzz around the venue that was like nothing I had experienced before,” Sluchinski said. “Everyone was excited to see what would happen not just in my fight, but for the other bouts that were happening there.”
“I was the second bout of the night and that didn’t allow me to sit around and get nervous before I fought,” he added. “Though to be honest with you, I didn’t feel any nerves at all, so that was a good thing.”
Although he lost his first pro bout, Sluchinski isn’t planning to hang up his gloves anytime soon, as he hopes to return to the ring later this fall.
“I’m going to take a couple of months off to heal up my ribs first, then I’m going to get ready once again,” Sluchinski said. “If anyone calls me to try and set up a quick fight before then, I’m going to tell them that there’s no chance of that happening.”
“The biggest thing I want to do for my next fight is to be in the best shape possible,” he added. “I didn’t really have enough time to get ready for this fight, but if I’m training right away, I can be ready for anything.”