P.J. Swales has always liked contact.
It started with skateboarding but the contact with that was usually the pavement so he moved on to football.
He was drafted by the Hamilton Ti-Cats coming out of college but the injury bug caught up with him and he moved on, settling into his career as the athletics and marketing coordinator at Red Deer College.
But he has managed to get his competitive juices flowing by stepping into the ring for some professional wrestling earlier this year and will now tackle the sport of boxing.
“I’ve always really enjoyed the contact and the physicality side of it (boxing),” he said.
“There’s something inside of me that enjoys the competition of the one person to one person.”
Now this is no regular foray into the squared circle. There is definitely a purpose behind this effort to master the sweet science.
P.J. will be on the card of the fourth annual ‘Rumble in Red Deer’ Nov. 16th at Westerner Park which is a fundraiser for the Red Deer Boxing Club.
It’s also a way to raise some cash for Young Adult Cancer Canada and it’s there where this pugilistic adventure hits home for Swales.
“Eighteen months ago my daughter was born, a week later we found out that my wife had cancer,” said Swales.
She went through chemo, winning her fight and has been cancer-free for the past nine months, he said.
He recently was sporting a lovely shiner following some training but it hasn’t stopped him from continuing in his effort to battle for three rounds in November.
“Some people said ‘a black eye, maybe you should quit’ but if my wife went through a year of chemo I can go through a couple of black eyes.”
Contestants are non-boxers so they go through a tough 12-week training program in order to be ready to rumble when the bell rings and Swales can attest to the fact the training is for real.
He explained there were times when he couldn’t raise his arms during a workout.
So what about the black eye?
“Learning how to box I didn’t have very good defense and got caught with an uppercut. Now my defense is much better,” he said. “There may be a thousand ways I can be defeated but it will not be by an uppercut.”
You can buy individual tickets or purchase a dinner table for eight which includes a buffet dinner and exposure for your company during the fight card.
For tickets or more information, call 403-877-4391.