SEPTEMBER 29, 2022 | TORONTO, ON. – Top boxers from across Ontario descended on Niagara Falls for the Legends of Boxing Series: In Honour of Pat Kelly on September 23-25, 2022.
Hosted by Boxing Ontario, the “Legends Tournament” witnessed three days of competition, four sessions, two rings, and competitive, exciting bouts to kick off the first “normal” boxing season since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The awards for Best Female Bout of the tournament were presented to Skye Giles (Platinum Training Facility) and Miah Evans (Bluewater Boxing Club). Best Male Bout of the tournament was awarded to Rui Mendes (Bushido Boxing) and Liam Doucet (Nappers Boxing Club). Congratulations to these athletes for showcasing incredible boxing and sportsmanship!
Thanks to the incredible team of doctors and officials, boxers competed safely through the weekend, with special Official Awards presented to Mike Ewles and Haidar Mansour.
Dedicated in the memory of Pat Kelly—legendary coach, founder of Shamrock Boxing Club, champion-maker, and highly respected sports figure and father figure to so many athletes—the tournament was part of a recently announced competition series called “Legends of Boxing” in which local Boxing Ontario legends are honoured.
Eight legends were commemorated during a ceremony and awards presentation to their families on the second day of competition: Wally Baines, Frank Degazio, John Degazio, Ron Gallen, Ray McGibbon, Keith Murphy, Raymond Napper Sr, and Pat Kelly. Speeches were given by Mike Strange (three-time Olympian, Commonwealth and Pan Am Games medalist, and Niagara Falls city councillor), Billy “The Kid” Irwin (Olympian, Commonwealth Games medalist, and former lightweight contender), and Pat Kelly Jr. Biographies of the honoured legends are available on Boxing Ontario’s website.
“I was honoured, this past weekend, to share the ring with the families of some of the greatest boxing icons. This tournament represented the beginning of an extremely meaningful series, as we celebrate the legends we’ve lost in our province. Ontario is home to some of the greatest boxers, coaches, and officials in the world, and it’s important we continue to acknowledge their invaluable contributions.” – Jennifer Huggins, President of Boxing Ontario
The Wilcox family, of the renowned Steeltown Boxing Club in Hamilton, ON, gave back to amateur boxing in Ontario in a very special way for the Legends Tournament. All boxers who placed first and second received a ticket to their “Bond of Brothers” show on November 4th at the Brantford Civic Centre. The four Wilcox brothers – Jessie, Steve, Spencer, and Brad – are on the card that evening.
“We got together as a group and thought it would be a good way to give back to the future champions/next generation,” said Bradley Wilcox. “Me and my brothers all fought many years for Boxing Ontario, and we have a first-hand experience how important and how big of an impact something like this can do”. Founded in 2003 and owned by Robert Wilcox, Steeltown Boxing Club is home of many provincial and national champions. Boxing Ontario would like to thank the entire Wilcox family for this incredible gesture and for inspiring the next generation of boxers.
All registered female athletes not in the finals or outside of the tournament were invited to a sparring session on the final morning of competition. Sunday sparring is a fixture at Boxing Ontario-sanctioned tournaments and provides female athletes with an opportunity to spar, learn, and connect with female athletes, coaches, and officials from across the province.
Boxing Ontario would like to thank all athletes, coaches, officials, doctors, and volunteers for their hard work and dedication to making the inaugural Legends Tournament a success.
The next Boxing Ontario-sanctioned tournament will be the Provincial Championships on November 3-6 in Brampton, ON. For more information on upcoming tournaments, club competitions, courses, and events, please visit BoxingOntario.com.
- Boxing Ontario | [email protected] | 416-426-7250
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About Boxing Ontario:
Boxing Ontario is the only governing body for Olympic-style boxing in Ontario. As such, it is affiliated with Boxing Canada (CABA), the International Boxing Association (IBA) and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, & Sport. Founded in 1972, Boxing Ontario encompasses over 150 clubs, 2,500 competitors, and more than 12,000 recreational members.
Interviews are available virtually, via email or phone with:
- Jennifer Huggins (President, Boxing Ontario)
- Board Members (contacts available upon request)
- Erik Olsen (Executive Director, Boxing Ontario)
Full albums available on Boxing Ontario’s Facebook page. Lead photo: Rebecca Freeman | @beccfreeman