Elevation Combat Sports Academy, along with the Southern Tier Martial Arts League, will hold an outdoor kickboxing/Muay Thai event this Saturday at Memorial Park in Dunkirk.
The gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the first bout begins at 7 p.m. It will be held rain, or shine, as the boxing ring will be under a tent.
ECSA has five boxers scheduled to participate in Malique Carter, Chris Pasquale, Jeremy Sobilo, Emily Narraway and Mike Young.
OBSERVER?Photo by Craig Harvey
Elevation Combat Sports Academy, along with Southern?Tier Martial Arts League, will host a Kickboxing/Muay Thai event Saturday at Memorial Park in?Dunkirk. Pictured are the coaches and participants from?ECSA. Pictured in front, from left, are David Harriger, ESCA?owner; Janinne Dugan, ECSA?coach; and Cody Felt, ESCA?coach.?Pictured in back are four of the five fighters representing ESCA. They are, Emily Narraway, Jeremy Sobilo, Chris Pasquale and Malique Carter.
Twelve bouts are scheduled on the card with schools coming in from Jamestown, Buffalo, Erie and Ohio.
"I am expecting victory," ECSA owner Dave Harriger said of his fighters. "They have been training hard. Chris Pasquale and Malique Carter are training partners. We couldn't find anyone good enough to spar with Jeremy Sobilo - an 11 year old - in this area, so I spar with him. We have all been beating each other up for the last three months. This is the hardest anyone has trained. Everyone wants to look good in front of their hometown crowd."
For Sobilo, this will be his 12th fight, as he has been a part of the gym for three years.
"I know how to defend myself now," Sobilo said, when asked what he has learned over the past three years. "When I get the wind knocked out of me, I don't come back (out of control)."
"He keeps his composure now and sticks to the gameplan," Harriger added about his 11-year-old protege, who sports a 7-4 record. Jeremy is my 'gym son.' He basically lives here. He is learning how to harness his emotions. He keeps his cool now and it's spilling over into his school and social life. This gives him a good outlet."
Harriger also noted Saturday's event will be the first fight for Narraway.
The driving force behind ECSA hosting its first card is the fact local fighters have had to travel to Buffalo, Batavia and beyond, to compete.
"If everything goes good, we are going to be doing another card in the next six months," Harriger said. "We have talented people in this area. I have talented guys at my gym. I am excited. I have always wanted to do a fight in our area. Everyone knows me and that I have been in Martial Arts forever. I have a ton of friends and family coming. It helps my dream of doing this whole gym experience.
"Everyone is really excited about Saturday and to show what they have been working on," Harriger concluded. "We have gone to Batavia and Jamestown. This will be nice to drive a couple minutes to get to the venue and a couple minutes to get home for a change. The focus has been a lot better. It's a nice little treat to come home and fight in front of everyone and make everyone else drive to us for a change."
General admission tickets are $10 for the lawn and ticket holders are asked to bring a chair or blanket. Ringside seats, which will be provided and located under the tent, are on sale for $20 pre-sale or $25 at the door. For ticket information, contact Harriger at 785-0547, or the Southern Tier Martial Arts League at 729-7865.