Four Ontario Youth athletes have been selected to represent Canada at the AMBC Continental Championships in Cali, Colombia from August 1-10, 2023:
- Victoria Vergos (Steeltown Boxing)
- Karan Sembhi (King of the Ring)
- Owen Paquette (AFT Boxing Brantford)
- Parminder Pannu (King of the Ring)
Boxing Canada selected the athletes based on their excellent results following the national Youth Talent ID Camp which was held in Montreal, QC from May 18-21, 2023.
Learn more about Owen here!
“I am determined to bring Canada back on the podium at all international and Olympic stages of boxing, striving for excellence and inspiring the next generation of athletes.”
Why did you first start boxing? Tell us about your progression in the sport.
My boxing journey began at the age of 9. I participated in boxing to assist me with my conditioning for rep hockey. Growing up in a sporting family, with my dad being a goaltender for the Washington Capitals in the NHL, instilled a strong work ethic and passion for athletics. Instantly falling in love with the sport, I found joy in the personal and individual aspects of boxing, relying on my determination and skills. Competing in the sport since the age of 10, I have never looked back. Now, at 18 years old, I have dedicated half of my life to boxing, and my love for the sport continues to fuel my drive to achieve numerous goals.
What has your biggest challenge been as a competitive boxer?
As a competitive boxer, my biggest challenge has been twofold: finding opponents and managing my academics and training. Being dedicated to my academics, approaching my first year of university posed a significant challenge as boxing and school schedules conflicted. Representing Team Canada’s Youth National Boxing Team meant missing valuable class time, resulting in catching up on schoolwork. However, with strong time management skills and unwavering effort, I successfully balanced both academics and boxing, earning a place in my desired program at Brock University while pursuing my dreams with the national team.
What has your biggest achievement been as a competitive boxer?
My most significant achievement as a competitive boxer has to be winning the gold medal at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in PEI. This triumph was especially incredible as it happened in front of my maritime family. Additionally, being selected to represent Team Canada for two consecutive years after the COVID-19 layoff has been an incredible honour and a source of immense pride. Wearing the maple leaf fills me with joy and reaffirms my dedication to representing my country at the highest level. I also had the honour to be Canada’s flag bearer at the 2022 Youth World Championships in Spain—a moment in my boxing career I will never forget.
What are your future goals in the sport of boxing?
My future goals in the sport of boxing revolve around continuing to represent my country proudly and competing in the Olympic Games. I am determined to bring Canada back on the podium at all international and Olympic stages of boxing, striving for excellence and inspiring the next generation of athletes.
How did you feel when you found out that you were selected to represent Canada at the Continental Championships in Colombia?
When I found out that I was selected to represent Canada at the Continental Championships in Colombia, I was filled with extreme thrill and excitement. Representing my country for a second year holds profound significance, and I take immense pride in wearing the maple leaf, pushing myself to reach new heights and inspiring others in the process.
Where can people find out more about you and support your journey?
For those eager to learn more about my journey and offer support, I invite you to join me on my social media platforms. I frequently share updates, experiences, and progress on my Instagram account @owen_paquette1. You can also find a link to my GoFundMe page for Colombia in my bio. Additionally, any potential sponsors would be genuinely valued and appreciated. The unwavering encouragement and support from my friends, family, and people in the community mean everything to me, as their belief in my dreams fuels my determination to achieve greatness in my boxing journey. Together, we can make a positive impact and strive for success in the sport I love.
Boxing club: AFT Boxing Academy Brantford
Coaches’ names: Sébastien Corrales and Darryl Paquette
Boxing career highlights:
- Ranked #1 and named to Team Canada’s Youth National Boxing Team for 2 consecutive years.
- Canada Winter Games gold medalist
Favourite food: Pasta
Favourite music: Country
Favourite movie: Step Brothers
Favourite boxer: Shakur Stevenson
Hobbies: Other sports and being with friends and family
Future goals: Compete in the Olympic Games
All images from the 2023 Canada Winter Games
- Image 1 (feature): Larry Mathewson
- Image 2 (header): Nora Mathewson
- Image 3: (bottom): Valerie Sevilla