Four Ontario athletes from the Elite National team will be competing at the AMBC Continental Championships (a direct qualifying event for the Pan Am Games) in Cali, Colombia from August 3-10, 2023. This tournament is the next step on the road to the 2024 Paris Olympics!

The athletes competed for their spots on Team Canada during the Pan American Games (PAG) Domestic Qualification Competition in Montreal, QC from June 20-23, 2023.

Learn more about Justin here!

Justin Parina

“…I switched sports to boxing at 15 years old and started training seriously, and ever since, boxing never let go of me, nor did I.”

Why did you first start boxing?

I was first introduced to boxing when I was 7 years old by my older brother as he was also a boxer too, and being Filipino, our family always watched when Mayweather and Pacquiao fought. At this time, I never really cared for boxing because I was playing football, until I switched sports to boxing at 15 years old and started training seriously, and ever since, boxing never let go of me, nor did I.

When did you realize that you wanted to reach the top as a competitor?

What I know, at a very young age, was that I have always been competitive in sports or games. Before my mom signed me up for boxing at Kombat Arts Training, I already set my mind that I was going to compete and have a milestone to become the National Champion.

Tell us about your progression in the sport?

From watching boxing at a young age, to having my first fight/tournament at the Brampton Cup 2016 earning gold, to winning my first Elite National Championships at Edmonton 2018, to traveling/competing in different countries representing Canada for the past 6 years!

What has your biggest challenge been as a competitive boxer?

My biggest challenges as a competitive boxer are external factors outside the boxing ring. From finances, injuries, new baby daddy responsibilities.

How did you feel when you found out that you would be competing in Colombia for the Pan Am Qualifiers?

I felt amazing when I earned my spot and on a pathway to the Pan Am Games Qualifiers at Cali, Colombia. After this tournament, boxers will advance to Santiago, Chile for the Olympic Qualifier—the Pan Am Games—where I can secure a spot for Canada at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Where can people find out more about you and support your journey?

You can find more about me on my Instagram and Facebook, @jparina25. You can also support me on my GoFundMe:

Boxing club: Kombat Art Training Academy

Coaches’ names: Socrates Celestial and Sean Fugencio

Boxing career highlights: 6x National Champion, 2022 King of the Ring Finalist, 2019 Canadian Olympic Trails Winner, 2x Golden Glove Champion, 3x Brampton Cup Champion, 2016 Ontario Youth Games Champion

Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario / Manila, Philippines

Favourite food: Jollibee fried chicken

Favourite music: Hip hop, R&B

Favourite movie: Scarface, 300, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Gladiator, Troy

Favourite boxer: Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali

Hobbies: Video games

Future goals: Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Image Credits