The 2017 Canadian Championships were without a doubt a massive success! It was the second edition regrouping the Junior, Youth and Elite categories under the same roof and a grand total of 219 boxers from coast to coast took part in the competition for a chance to claim the national title in their respective category.
“This year’s Canadian Championships will be remembered as one of the best in the past 25 years. The local organization [Benoit Martel and Carl Poirier from Club EnergyBox] did a fabulous job of ensuring all participants enjoyed their experience.” said Pat Fiacco, Boxing Canada’s president. “As far as the competition itself, it was very clear that the quality of boxing in Canada has improved tremendously and that there is talent from coast to coast. We saw medalists from each province present at the competition. We must give credit to all the coaches across Canada for spending time with these athletes in the gym preparing them for these championships. Boxing in Canada is in great shape!”
Indeed, the Canadian Championships are growing every year and the tournament is starting to have a festival allure with all the seminars, workshops and ceremonies as part of the event. With all the exceptional talent present, the 2017 edition gathered a lot of media coverage and visibility across the country, which is great for the exposure and growth of our sport!
Also, another addition to this year’s edition was the opening ceremony where each provincial delegation marched in the competition area showing their colors.
- For all pictures from the competition, click HERE
- For all information regarding the competition (draw, results, schedule, etc), click HERE
Also, a big thank you to STING Canada, our Official Supplier of Equipment, for providing us with top-quality boxing gloves and headgear throughout the 2017 Canadian Championships !!
NEW NATIONAL TEAM COMPOSITION
After five intense days of competition, the Youth and Elite National Team’s composition was confirmed. (Click HERE to view the list of medalists)
One of the interesting aspects ahead of this year’s championship was that some weight divisions had two National Team representatives fighting for a unique spot on the team. This was due to the Olympic qualification process which prevented the Olympic National Team from competition at the 2016 Canadian Championships and where new champions were crowned.
“I’m very happy with the composition of the National Team. We have a few new faces amongst the team who are highly motivated to prove themselves.” mentions Daniel Trépanier, Boxing Canada’s High Performance Director. “It is exciting to see that we have depth within the National Team pool at the start of a new Olympic quadrennial.”
The next step for the National Team boxers will be to conduct physical and medical testing to evaluate their conditions ahead of the Continental Championships taking place June 8-19 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. These championships are now a mandatory qualification event to be participate in the 2017 Men’s World Championships to be hosted in Hamburg, Germany from August 25th until September 3rd. The Canadian delegation travelling to Honduras will be announced shortly.
As for the Youth National Team, the results of the physical testing will determine the composition of the team for the Youth Commonwealth Games taking place July 16-23rd in Nassau, Bahamas.
Another achievement worth mentioning is Mandy Bujold: she claimed her 11th Canadian Title during these championships, which establishes a new record in Amateur boxing in Canada ! Congrats Mandy!
AIBA 1-STAR R&J SEMINAR
Throughout the championships, Boxing Canada also took the opportunity to conduct an AIBA 1-star referee and judge’s certification course. This is the first step to increase the number of Canadian representatives during international competitions.
“Andrew Caufield (Scotland) and Doug Emery (USA) were the two AIBA instructors who oversaw the course and evaluated our Canadian officials throughout the competition. This is a great opportunity for our officials to either refresh their AIBA 1-star certification or upgrade to the next level of officiating in boxing and get them one step closer to being internationally certified.” said Pat Fiacco.
HIGH PERFORMANCE & MEDICAL SEMINARS
The Canadian Championships are a great opportunity to educate and inform our members. Various workshops and seminars were offered every day offering additional resources on a variety of topics, such as High Performance, sport psychology and medical advancements.
BOXERS OF THE TOURNAMENT & ANNUAL AWARD CEREMONY
Given their great performances throughout #CANbox17, here are the boxers who were awarded the trophies for Best Boxers of the Competition:
- Best Female Youth boxer: Ashley Rouble (BC)
- Best Male Youth boxer: Hunter Lee (ON)
- Best Female Elite boxer: Sara Haghighat-Joo (ON)
- Best Male Elite boxer: Joshua Frazer (ON)
Also, at the close of the 2017 Canadian Championships, Boxing Canada took the opportunity to host its Annual Award Ceremony.
Here are the 2016 award recipients who were celebrated:
It was also during this ceremony that Yvon Michel officially became a member of Boxing Canada’s Hall of Fame. His induction came as no surprise given his active involvement as a National Team coach and Executive Director of the Fédération Québécoise de Boxe Olympique (FQBO) as well as his tremendous contribution to boxing in Canada as a professional promoter.
Raquel Ruiz for Boxing Canada
A private investigator and a human wolf from Chechnya seems like a perfect team of heroes for a kids’ comic book.
The private investigator is John Spray, writer of Next Round: A Young Athlete’s Journey to Gold, and the Chechen Wolf is the book’s subject, a young man who wins gold medals with his fists in the boxing ring. And it’s not a comic book, but a sports biography, forthcoming from Pajama Press in July, just in time for the Olympic Games in Brazil.
Kids aged 8-14 will without doubt be inspired and educated by the life of the protagonist, Arthur Biyarslanov.
Biyarslanov, nicknamed the Wolf – the refugee boxer, the young Muslim, the 2015 Pan American Games Champion, now ready to compete in the Olympic Games in Brazil – shares with Spray juicy details of his life growing up in Chechnya. He recounts his escape from the Russian army, life as a refugee in Azerbaijan, and his immigration to Canada at age nine. After losing his father at a young age, Biyarslanov lives in the projects in Toronto with his mother Elle and brothers, enduring it all to become an icon, not only for his sports talents but also his humanity.
Biyarslanov, a very disciplined 21-year-old, makes his biography accessible to boys who, according to the author, have very few books to read which inspire them.
“It feels amazing to have a book written about me. Now people all over the world can read my story and really know who I am. I hope to motivate kids to reach their goals,” said Biyarslanov, who always dreamed of being an Olympic athlete, although he thought it might be in soccer, a sport in which he also excelled.
Spray met Biyarslanov after the Pan American Games when the young Canadian had won the first gold medal in forty years for his adoptive country. Spray knew the Wolf’s story through his wife, who is the owner of Pajama Press and requested her husband write a book for children about the boxer.
“I boxed when I was young, and thought it was an incredible story to tell,” said Spray, who interviewed the Pan American champion for several months to get the core of the story. He chose to write it in an action-packed manner to engage and empower child readers.
“It’s a story that has it all, and a good ending,” said Spray.
And who doesn’t like good endings?
Biyarslanov is happy to share his journey to gold with all the children in Canada and hopes they can read the book before the Olympics in August so they can watch and cheer him on from home.
“I am happy because they [children] can see the hard times and struggles I’ve been through and see that I was still able to succeed. I hope to inspire kids to become better people, better athletes, and to appreciate life,” said the young boxer, whose goal is to be on the podium in Brazil.
The only very important person who is not able to see the accomplishments of the young boxer is his dad, to whom Arthur dedicates all his triumphs. At the end of each of his bouts, when the referee hoists his arm as winner, the Wolf looks up to the sky to his angel in heaven.
“I think my dad would be very happy with smy accomplishments.”
The book is available for pre-order online at Indigo and Amazon.