What ever happened to Mike Dufresne?

?All?s I?m saying is that when the going gets tough, only the strong survive?, noted Phil Dufresne, King of the mixed metaphors, in reference to his brother Mike, who has plans to be the ?King of the Ring?.

Local Tumbler Ridge product Mike Dufresne earned a Bachelor?s degree in Human Kinetics from UBC this past spring. But his true passion lies in civil combat. For the past 3 and a half years, Mike has been training in the Sport of Kick Boxing. He has been fighting for the past two years.

?In my rambunctious youth?, notes a reserved Dufresne, ?I walked into a private fighting school in search of discipline. I really liked the organized fighting, and it has been a hobby ever since?.

Mike won the BC Super Middle Weight (up to 168 lbs) title this past June. Mike fights at 165 lbs. ?He got a belt and everything?, noted brother Phil, in a Jerry Mathers-like fashion. The main event consisted of 5 ? 2 minute rounds that day, and Mike was the best.

Mike has trained in Dawson Creek with Wade Irwin, but needs to be in an urban centre like Vancouver or Victoria in order that he can have the proper caliber of competition. His trainer is Mehdi Pourskoui, who is a world Professional Muay Thai Champion, and has just traveled to Thailand to participate in some fights.

I was just in Victoria for the UBCM meetings in October. I was in this establishment, and I turned around and there was a poster on the wall advertising a ?King of the Ring? bout. ?8 will enter, and only one will remain standing?. I looked closer and there was Mike as one of the contestants. So PernelI and Nigel told me to steal it. There was a bunch all over the place, they didn?t miss it.

Out of the advertised eight, six contestants appeared for the event. Mike first fought Todd Steen, who was there to defend the title he won last year. The tournament was set up so there were three fights, and three fighters eliminated. Then one guy would get a Bye, and the remaining two would fight to determine who would advance to the championship fight. Mike won a split decision over the 4-0 Steen, and eliminated him from the event. Unfortunately, one of Mike?s kicks caught an elbow, and his ankle swelled. Mike had to remove himself from contention due to the injury. ?It was very disappointing because the winner of the fight would win a $4,000 purse, and I felt I had the ability to win it all?, reflected Dufresne. ?But you have to look at the big picture, and the worse an injury gets, the longer it takes to heal, so I decided to pull out?.

Mike has plans to participate in another 15 or so fights, and then open a school. ?I want to get some experience, then use the knowledge from my degree and open a school. There are schools open now that have trainers with little or no experience, and I think I could have some success as a trainer?. Mike?s amateur record now stands at three wins and a loss. The loss was due to a judge?s decision.

There is an upcoming competition in February, and another in April, both in Vancouver. ?The April event has a boxing title fight between Gerry Gionto and Danny Bonaduce ? the guy from the Partridge Family. That event should draw a good crowd.? Mike is on the card. I?m going to ask him he he?ll ask Danny to get me Laurie Partridge?s autograph.