The boxing at Italian Center is the longest running annual boxing event in Canada

An interview with Manny Sobral organizer of Night of Fights

MARCO POLO What means Night of Fights boxing gala organized by Confratellanza Italo-Canadese and NBBC?

Manny Sobral The ‘Night of Fights’ boxing gala means a lot in the history of Boxing in British Columbia. In 1982, George Angelomatis and Jack Duke of the famed Astoria Boxing Club organized the 1st of the dinner show at the Italian Cultural Center, which became an annual event for 28 consecutive years until George became ill in 2009. In 2010 & 2011, the event took a break; it was resurrected in 2012 by the Confratellanza Italo-Canadese and the North Burnaby Boxing Club, with the encouragement of the Honourable George Angelomatis.  It is now our 6th year organizing the event, which makes it the longest running boxing event in Canadian boxing history at 34th annual events!!

MARCO POLO What made you decide to get into boxing?

 Manny Sobral I was a chubby youngster and wanted to do something about my overweightness, so in 1982, at the age of 13, I picked up a yellow pages phone book and found a gym that was close to my house.  Not knowing that I was going to box to lose weight I entered the Inner City Gym near Main and Hastings and happened to fall in love wit the ‘sweet science’ of boxing.  Six years later, in 1988, I competed in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea representing our country, Canada.

MARCO POLO How do you pick opponents for your fighters?

 Manny Sobral Geoff Lawrence, a boxing friend from the Kelowna Boxing Club, makes our matches for the event.  In consultation with Geoff and my partner Rob Bortolazzo from the NBBC, we try our best to match boxers that are of similar experience, weight and age to make for the best competitive matches possible.

MARCO POLO What are your thoughts of Vancouver as a fight city?

Manny Sobral Historically, Vancouver has never been a huge fight city, but has had a number of memorable bouts here including Muhammad Ali boxing George Chuvalo at the Pacific Coliseum over the 12 round distance, as well as Michael Spinks defending is World Light heavyweight title vs. Peruvian boxer Oscar Rivadeneyra, also at the Pacific Coliseum.  One of the greatest Welterweights in history,Jimmy McLearin, also started his boxing career here, in Vancouver boxing his 1st 2 professional boxing matches at the HastingsGym in East Vancouver.

Today, boxing is still alive and well in Vancouver, producing a number of provincial and national champions.

MARCO POLO What are your thoughts on the current gala?

 Manny Sobral As I mentioned, the boxing at the Italian Center is the longest running annual boxing event in Canada and I am very proud and honoured to be involved in putting this fabulous event together, in collaboration with the Confratellanza Italo-Canadese and the NBBC.

MARCO POLO Could you give us any details on your next show, or is it still just in the early planning stages?

 Manny Sobral At the moment, we have 11 bouts slated for the ‘Nights of Fights’, with the BC Middleweight and BC Lightweight titles being contended.

MARCO POLO Anything else about you that you think our readers should know?

 Manny Sobral The readers should know that all competitors at the Night of Fights puts their hearts and souls in preparing for this annual event, and it speaks for itself through their performance that evening. That’s what makes it a such highly anticipated and successful, quality event, year after year.  Night of Fights has been and always will be a great night of boxing!

Confratellanza Italo Canadese/NBBC Boxing night 2017

Prelims – 3 Rounds


Red Corner                                                                                 Blue Corner


Lightweight 135 lbs

Cody Lam                                                             VS                               Gavin Bisla

NBBC                                                                                               BISLA

WINNER Gavin Bisla Unanimous decision


Welterweight 150 lbs

Filippos Liappas                                             VS                             Steven Howard

NBBC                                                                                                   MKBC – Kelowna
WINNER  Fillipos Liappas Unanimous decision


Flyweight 100 lbs
Colton Osborne                                              VS                             Matteo Rawlings
Diaz Combat Sports                                                                         Kamloops Boxing

WINNER Colton Osborne Split decision


Middleweight 160 lbs

Mathew Pheonix                                            VS                             Riley Farahkbachia

MKBC –Kelowna                                                                             Gracie’s
WINNER Riley Farahkbachia KO Round 1


Lightweight 135 lbs
Jacob George                                                      VS                        Herman Chuex
NBBC                                                                                               POWD

WINNER Jacob George Split decision



Semi Main Event –   Lightweight  135 lbs – 4 Rounds

Jeffery Brittanica                                           VS                             Kyle Banks

Diaz Combat Sports                                                                         MKBC –Kelowna

WINNER  Kyle Banks TKO Round  1


Main Event –  BC Middleweight Title 160 lbs – 5 Rounds

Marcus Davies                                               VS                              Tyson Gemby

Sunshine Coast BC                                                                                                       Gracie’s

WINNER Marcus Davies TKO Round 4




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