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Joining the Thunder Bay Boxing Club in 1988, this outstanding boxer went on to represent his hometown with distinction from the local to the world level. Guided by his long-time coach Tony Pimentel, he set upon a path to reach his dream of one day representing Canada at the Olympics.

Along the way he collected provincial and national honours including the 1992 Canadian Junior boxing crown and 1993-94 Intermediate title. Advancing to the senior division he was the 1995 Canadian 156-lb champion and the 1998 top Middleweight.

Representing Canada at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he won his first two bouts and emerged with a bronze medal after a hard fought, injury-plagued third match-up. Continuing to sharpen his skills by representing Canada at international competitions around the world, he also fought closer to home, donning the maple leaf to compete at the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg.

Just missing out on a trip to the 2000 Olympics in a one-point loss in his final match of the Canadian qualifier, he never gave up on his Olympic dream. Relocating to train in Medicine Hat, Alberta, due to the closure of his hometown club, he continued to compete in bouts nationally and internationally, claiming titles in the Light-Heavyweight division and adding to his already impressive record of success.

Earning a silver medal in an International Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) Olympic qualifying tournament in Rio de Janeiro in April of 2004, he was confident that he had earned a ticket to the 2004 Olympic Games, however, it took a fight in the courts to get him to Athens. Despite having to put 3 months worth of training into 3 weeks, and suffering from a back injury, he won his 81-kg Olympic debut by outscoring his opponent 36-20.

The only Canadian boxer to advance into the round-of-16, he faced the eventual bronze medallist in his second Olympic match-up and although knocking him to the mat for a standing 8-count, was outscored 38-22 and eliminated from the competition.

Retiring from the amateur ranks he pursued a professional boxing career, including some time competing in mixed martial arts, before hanging up his gloves in 2009. Not only did this powerful athlete leave his mark in the history books as one of the regions’ most successful boxers, he did so by fighting through injury and adversity to reach his goal.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 28, 2019

Trevor Stewardson

Thunder Bay
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