Jim Kennedy has coached boxing at the Red Deer Boxing club for the last 12 years.
His kids got him into the sport. “Your kids have to do something for the winter,” Kennedy explains. “So we asked our oldest boy to pick something, what he wanted to do and he came home one day and said I want to go boxing. We said ‘Oh really? Well let’s see what’s up.’ We found it, we joined and we’ve been there ever since.”
The Red Deer Boxing Club was started by Rob Carswell, a man Kennedy says has a vast array of knowledge for Alberta boxing.
“When it comes to boxing experts, I don’t think there’s too many around Alberta that have as much knowledge as Rob. He’ll say there’s a lot but he’s elite, very elite.”
Carswell’s club is the host city for the Alberta Provincial Boxing Championships on Nov. 19 at the Agricentre at Westerner Park. Weigh-ins go from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., with bouts starting at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday’s finals will start at noon.
Watching the last three major professional boxing matches, Pacquiao vs. Marquez III, Hopkins vs. Dawson and Mayweather vs. Ortiz, could have boxing fans running for the hills. But the truth is, what you see in professional boxing has a common theme — money. Money has a way of corrupting people and corrupting judgment and decisions.
You won’t find that corruption at the provincials. Kennedy expects nothing but good old fashioned, slug ’em out boxing. “If you’re interested in seeing some good amateur boxing, provincials usually brings out a pretty good crowd.”
A weekend pass to unlimited boxing is only $5 so boxing fans are sure to get their money’s worth. Competing will be boxers who are bronze, with fewer than five bouts to their credit, silver gloves who have 10 fights or less and gold gloves who have 11 fights and more.
“It’s going be a wide range of boxing from the little guys to the heavyweights and females too. Every boxing club in Alberta is going to send their better boxers down to this tournament to see if they could get a kid or a couple of kids off to the nationals.”
That’s right; Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby was not a fantasy movie. There are female boxers. “There are some tough girls out there!”
Red Deerians, be prepared to see the sweet science at all skill levels, when Alberta Provincials come to town. And if you find that after you want your kid to join boxing, the cost is only $30 a month — slightly less than other winter sports.