Monday, October 28, 2013


I want to clear something up very quickly before I get into what I want to blog about. I've received many messages from 'loyal' friends that feel that I won the fight yesterday. While I appreciate the support and loyalty, you must all undestand that you must seperate that from the judgement of the fight. I didn't win. Plain and simple. Loudest cheers don't get you points with judges! My opponent won in all categories, He controlled the pace, was the aggressor, landed more shots, landed more power punches and inflicted more damage. My own cousins, trainers, and teammates all concede to these facts. Sometimes you see what you want to see, you wanted to see me win, so you saw the punches I landed and they were amplified in your mind, but I assure you, I definitely didn't win the fight. In fact I was a little nervous before they announced the winner, sometimes judges get influenced by the crowd and the winner gets some "hometown' gift and gets the decision, you see it all the time,but I'm glad that didn't happen, I wouldn't want a victory that way, it would've been bad for the sport and Ontario Boxing , and I wouldn't want to be part of something like that. Ian won the fight, fair and square and clear, so everyone put your minds and hearts to rest, the right call was made.

I was very emotional. I'm an emotional person. I apologize if my tears made anyone feel uncomfortable, that's just the way I am, win OR lose. I put so much ino boxing. I've worked extremely hard at it. I put everything into this training camp. I made the weight again, I got so many sparring rds in that I was forced to take more recovery days than I normally would, I had injuries(every boxers has injuries...24/7), I had stuff going on in my personal life(isn't that always the case with everyone!), I knew my opponent was faster, stronger, more experienced than me going in. This fight had been built up for a while. So when it was over, I do what I've become accustomed to, a tool I've used to help me stay sober, I just let everything go. I let everything out. It's funny that I used to play poker for a living! Because I have no 'poker face' now! Happy, sad, angry, emotional, you don't ever have to guess how I'm feeling, I wear my heart on my sleeve, you'll know. So there were so many factors leading to my emotional reaction, but if you know me, it isn't anything new. I had friends come see me from so many facets of my life, I had support there from all angles, there were my Beertown Fam, my cousins, co-workers,my neighbors, The Barnes family. The list goes on, I actually can't even list everyone there. My best friends from grade 8 were even there(I hadn't seen 1 in over 20 years), supporters from my blog that have been there right from the beginning, through it all. Truthfully though only about 20% of the people that said they were coming did! But I was extremely grateful, the ovation was tremendous, something I'll never forget.The BBSV community and my teammates and ALL the guys I've had sparring wars with, I really didn't want to let them down. I have so much love and respect for them, that I am always trying to be worthy of their company, I want them to be proud that I'm a teammate, I want to represent them and Syd. It was my first time having Saul in my corner and I really wanted to get the win for him. For most people, it would be the first time they would see me fight. My dad was there. I can't really get into the details, but let's just say it meant a lot to me that he came. After all these years,43 to be exact. To have him there to see me do what I was born to do. After everything I've put him through. I've waited 43 years, and so has he, to see me happy. When I'm in the ring I'm not alone. The demons I carry are always there too, and the significant people I've lost in my life, they are all there, weighing my heart down. I'm an emotional person, give me all those factors, let me sit on it for a month...when that fight was over there were going to be tears, win, lose or draw, sorry.

I wanted to thank all those who came to support me and my team, it was a day I will never forget. I also want to credit my opponent Ian Vasquez, he fought with determination and heart and will, I aspire to fight with his spirit, congrats Ian, you deserve it. You deserve to eat the junk food too! Although I didn't win, I did the same thing I set out to do at GoldenGloves, when the bell rang to end the fight, I had nothing left to throw, I left it all out there.

Monday, October 14, 2013


It definitely has not been an easy journey. If you were to tell me 3 years ago that I would only have ONE competitive fight under my belt at this time, well, I wouldn't believe you. When I hooked up with Syd, I knew my boxing journey would never be the same. I was in good hands, I knew deep down that I was going to be able to pursue my dreams. I never thought it would be this good. Syd as my head trainer, Shawn Murray in charge of my progress, Lucas Rowe, the technical guru, Denton Daley, my mentor, Jarrod Guille the experienced liver killing specialist, Erika Gmeindl, the strength and conditioning coach, Derek Lacey the passionate knowledge. Not to mention all the competitive boxers that help me on a regular basis. If I don't achieve my goals in boxing, there's no way I could blame anybody but myself. Syd's gym has given me everything I could ever ask for and more.

My first competitive boxing experience wasn't supposed to be Golden Gloves. It was something I didn't even have in my scope. During that weekend I really didn't know what to think. Here I was living my dream, I was finally going to compete, I was going to box, something I had waited my entire life for. It was so emotional for me. But I couldn't get too caught up in that, I was too busy starving my ass off trying to make weight! And the one thing I wasn't counting on was how enjoyable my experience with my team would be. I had never really been a part of anything like it. It was special, something I will always treasure for the rest of my life. After my fight, I was overwhelmed, I did it. I finally did it. I just couldn't believe it. Some people I'm sure were a little confused by all the tears, but I just couldn't help it, the fact that I won the Gold medal had nothing to do with it, I couldn't care less. I competed, I boxed. It was the happiest moment of my life. And to be part of Team Destiny, to be a part of this amazing team of youngsters, I took that experience with me more than my own individual triumph.

After my fight(which was in April) we were on our way. I sat down with Syd and the plan was laid out. We were going to get as many fights in, get as much 'ring' experience we can, and chase the dream to turn professional. My May fight fell through, then my June 16 fight was met with disaster, and the event that ruined my summer, I fractured my ribs in 2 places in sparring, it put me out for almost 10 weeks, and was my 4th cracked rib in less than a year and a half. Adversity. Well, all that is done now, I'm back in business, with a fight in my 'hometown', against an opponent that I wasn't qualified enough to fight in June. I've worked hard, made my most significant improvements since I've started, and I feel like I'm ready. It has been a whirlwind journey, a whirlwind year, a whirlwind summer, hell, the last month has been chaotic! Every area in my life has suffered, except the boxing. So, I've put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well, in front of my family, friends, my team, the community, and my BBSV family. I hope I can deliver.

So I hope myself and my teammates get a lot of support, I know that I will appreciate anybody that comes out to support the event. This entertainment is unquestionably great value. Where else can you watch a bunch of great boxers, willing to demonstrate their skill with class and heart, willing to lay it all on the line for themselves, their team and their community.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Celebration

At this time in my life, it's all about moving forward for me. One of my biggest 'crutches' has always been getting stuck in the past and not letting go. These days however, I feel I've made great efforts to focus my life on the future and living in the moment. I'm not a big one for birthdays or xmas, I think everyday should be celebrated and there shouldn't be a specific time or season when we should treat each other better and be in the "xmas spirit". But I recognize that milestones and land mark days are nice, and they do give us all an opportunity to share special moments with one another. Today is August 4th, I have been clean and sober for 5 years now...

I remember when I was in rehab, wow difficult it was for me to understand MY condition. Although all of us were obvious addicts, I was somewhat in a unique situation and different from most of the guys in the program. They all seemed to have many things in common, there were so many things that I didn't understand and couldn't relate to, I almost left 2 days in. We would sit and have group talks, and although I would speak at my turn, I wasn't really telling anyone anything significant to the cause, but in my defence I was trying to figure out what was going on myself! Then one day when it was my turn to speak, it just happened, I started telling everyone about my life, about my family, friends, the past, loves, tennis, EVERYTHING. It became emotional, I let everything go. Fuck. Although it felt like I should be embarrassed, I was ok, I looked around the room and it seemed that everyone else was crying with me, I felt a lot closer to the guys, I shared things with them that I never shared with anyone in my life, and they in return also 'shared'. Then I started understanding my condition and how I became an alcoholic and a drug addict, I began to understand how I became so uncomfortable in my own skin, why I was on a path to destroy myself. I began to see the reasons for everything. Especially the reasons why I couldn't use anymore. I had to quit. Everything. If I wanted to live my life the way I wanted to, it had to be without alcohol, and drugs. But to go the REST of my life without EVER doing it again? This was a difficult proposition. An impossible one to me.

There are many slogans in AA. Cliches if you will. They all help, different ones for different people. On Facebook you see people post positive reinforcement quotes all the time, they're all great, but some will resonate more with you than others. Some will stick out, change your way of thinking, forever. OR, maybe just for that day. I remember telling one of the counselors there that I couldn't see myself going the REST OF MY LIFE without drinking ever again. His response I will never forget, it became the one slogan that changed my way of living, he said that I didn't have to worry about staying clean the rest of my life, I only had to worry about today. One day at a time. It stuck with me. And to this day, when I write my list of goals for the day, the first one on the list is STAY SOBER, STAY CLEAN. And for the last 5 years, there's been a check mark everytime it has been written down.

Who knows what life will bring. I think the one gift that sobriety has given me has been to treasure each and every moment in it's own place. To value everyone that comes into my life, and to treasure the time you have with them. To celebrate everybody in my life. You just never know when that collection of people will ever happen again. I'm an emotional person. I cry. Since rehab, it's impossible for me to keep things in, I shed tears all the time, especially in happy moments. But, that's how I roll, I'm ok with it. It's me. Today is an emotional day for me. It's a happy landmark day, I've been clean and sober for 5 years. There are so many things for me to be grateful and happy for. One thing especially great about August's my niece's birthday!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Journey Continues

So back it again. My blog, my never-ending struggle. To stop, to return, to resume, to leave. I always have my reasons to write and my belief in doing it. Then, I always have my reasons to stop and never write again. I guess these days I'm trying to not read too much into it, I'm too deep of a person for my own good, the truth, as best as I know it, has really been the best way to go, and in the end I try to deliver it, with no other purpose then to actually, tell the truth. Once again, I've gone a long time without blogging. My blog since it's inception has taken on many meanings, themes and purposes, I've really given up trying to make sense of it all, let's just say the blog is really what it should've always been, just a simple documentation and journal of my journey to pursue my dream in becoming the best competitive boxer I can be. I've tried to keep my blog simple, and focus on the boxing, and keep my personal life out of it. I 've come to the realization that in order to continue to write my blog consistently, it is impossible to keep my personal life separate from my boxing journey. My boxing journey IS my personal life, and everything that happens to me personally, affects my boxing, everything. I am too emotional of a person to have it any other way. So much of my existence is dependent on energy, so much of that energy comes from my emotions. Sounds crazy to some I'm sure, to me, it's math. I understand myself better than I ever have at any point in my life, I understand my nature, I accept it now. The truth is, when thing are chaotic in my personal life, there's a good chance that I will stop blogging, I've been gone for a while, so you can figure it out. I haven't blogged since GoldenGloves. Which reminds me...

I will fill you all in on my GoldenGloves experience later this week, right now, I suppose I'm introducing my return to the blog and... to the ring. I fractured (or I should say Paul fractured) my ribs in 2 places after I received a nice body shot from one of my sparring partners. This was 6 and a half weeks ago, the Dr said I would be out 6-8 and well, I tried my best to make a return sooner but my body just wouldn't heal. It is my 3rd cracked rib in a little over a year. Since I've taken up boxing I've been no stranger to injury and being out. This time though it really hurt, I was unable to really do anything, experiencing pain in coughing, laughing, sleeping and the worst...sneezing. But I am happy to say that I am back, today was my first day back sparring and it felt great. I took some, landed some, the ribs got tested and I THINK they passed! I've had a lot of time to reflect in the last couple of months and mentally I feel better than I ever have. I feel more determined than ever and have a renewed sense of purpose. I am competing now, I'm in the game. Again. Things are different now, I have a great team around me that believe in me, and I myself am starting to believe that this dream of mine can really happen. I love boxing. I love my trainer. I love my teammates. I love my peers. I love the special friends I have made from boxing. I love being at the gym. I'm looking forward to the next part of my journey. With Denton on the rise, Namah's birth in pro boxing. Lucas' unfinished business, and of course the 'dream' of yours truly, it's such an exciting time at BBSV.

So once again folks, it's time to tag along. To share in something special, to be part of the human condition, to love, be loved and to help our fellow man get through this painful, curious and wonderful thing called life. Join me, as I join you, laugh with me, cry with me, but most of all, TRY with me. Let's put forth the effort in becoming better at all things, especially becoming better people, let's be good to one another, we're all we've got. Each other. THAT'S my dream, anyway you slice it. Care to share?

Thursday, April 18, 2013


The Tournament is at The Four Points Sheraton Hotel, 1150 Wellington Rd South, London Ont. Like most boxing events usually I would be on a card along with maybe 6 or 7 other scheduled fights all taking place on a Saturday night or a specific time and day on the weekend. It has been difficult to tell people that want to come when I will be fighting, the truth of the matter is I don't know. The weigh-ins are tomorrow morning at 9am, after that they will draw out of a hat as to the order the fights will go on. The Gold Medal matches are on Sunday. If I fight friday and win, I will have to weigh-in again on the next day I fight. I could speculate or assume or guess that I will be fighting friday night, this will most LIKELY be the case, but I just don't know. I've been advised to expect to fight at any time and to be perpared for anything.

The tickets you can get there, I know a weekend pass is $60, I am assuming a day pass is $25, great value, you can see a lot of fights, quality boxing and entertainment. Obviously I would love the support from anybody who can come, Team Destiny would love it too. I know that many people have msgd me wanting to come and support me and I apologize for not being able to get back to people, I have really locked down my focus so I hope you all understand, the truth is I haven't even responded to my own family with any details and many of them are waiting for this blog entry as well. I also knew that I would be unable to give a time and/or day that I would be fighting and this would greatly effect people's ability to attend.

SO!!! I will post on my status on FB after the weigh-ins and give everyone as much details as I can. Forgive me if I don't respond, I am focused on what I have to do to perform and support my team as well. I would love to see as many friends and family there but I TOTALLY understand the inconvenience of the situation. There will be plenty more opportunities in the future. Hopefully!

So, we're here, the start of my journey, the start of my competitive boxing career. All the training is done, all the preparation. There is nothing left to do but compete to the best of my ability and enjoy this moment. There are so many people to thank, it would take up a whole blog page, but I just wanted to thank a few people that have helped me on the way to Golden Gloves specifically and not neccesarily my journey, just people that have aided me in preparation for this tournament. Chris, Lucas, Erika, for getting me ready, Dr.T for helping me overcome a dabilitating injury, Conor for throwing punches at me doing slip drills, The staff at Beertown, especially DC, Asian Brother, Simon, BLT, Meadows, you guys tended to my every pain in the ass request with my food and helped me remain discipline in my eating habits although it was chicken and veg with no sauce or beef patty with nothing but tomatoes, no one could make that shit taste good, but you guys always did, I wouldn'tve been able to make weight without you guys. Adriel for all the extra mitt work, especially when Oma passed and I was unable to train at the gym for a week, we put in some great work together, unreal time too. Thank you Denton, for all the talks and advice and putting me through the best(worst) 13 rounds of hell I have ever experienced, but mostly for showing me how to train like a champion, you redefined what I thought was 'hard work'. Jags, for all the love and support and for caring for EVERYONE at BBSV. The kids from March break, you did so many things for me, mostly reminded me of the reason I have passion for boxing, kids, and life. And lastly Jewel, for putting me on the team, and having faith that maybe I'll 'show you something'. You and the gym have meant more to me than you can know, I hope I can show my appreciation through my effort this weekend.

Hope to see some of you there,  I will be posting details as soon as I know them. As my journey(boxing) proceeds, there will be significant events that take place, the first was the Golden Glove tryouts, I dedicated my effort there to Katie. I ended up making the team, so being superstitious, I'm going to dedicated my efforts this weekend as well. So this one's for the 40-plus crowd, to those that still believe that you're never too old and that it's never too late, I dedicate this effort to you. Dreams CAN come true, no matter how big or small, if it matters to YOU, that's all that counts. As long as you try. TRY.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Staying Focused

As my journey towards Golden Gloves continues, things in my personal life have become a little difficult. With 4 weeks left until the tournament (less than 2 weeks now), I made a pact with myself, that I wasn't going to have any excuses. I was going to adhere to my routine, stay focused, battle through all injuries, and most importantly, get my work in and continue to train everyday and get my road work in(running schedule). Afterall, although most boxers are treating Golden Gloves very seriously, it's different for me, it's emotional. I've waited 42 years for this moment to compete at the sport I love. It is special for me to be a part of Team Destiny, it is even more special for me to be a part of our dynamic team, a team with such a range of quality people and personalities, I'm extremely happy and proud, just to be their team mate. It is also a special time for D-Mac and I, we've shared a special friendship and bond and have brought out the best in one another, Golden Gloves will provide some of the reward for that for sure. There are so many reasons that this is important for me, I don't know where to begin. I guess I just did! This is the start of my boxing career. By the time Golden Gloves starts, most competitors would've felt that they have waited 8 weeks for the day to arrive, I feel like I've waited my whole life. I get chills thinking about it, it brings me to tears almost every time.

The weight cut alas is over. After experiencing difficulty after getting to 142(I'm fighting at the 139lbs category), feeling weak in training and not looking good, I made a decision to not diet to drop weight, to eat healthy, no junk, and just train hard. I was prepared to go into the tournament at 143-144 and just cut the water weight the day of. I wasn't really looking forward to this, even though Syd felt I would be fine. This last week of training has been my best ever, and I have ignored the scale as much as possible, this morning I stepped on, and was overjoyed to discover that....I was 140lbs! I feel strong, look great(compared to looking almost sick at 142) and feel a big relief.

Along with the weight cut news, I have also made an effort to work with some guys at the gym doing mitts(pad work) whenever possible. I've also scheduled days with my roommate and my cousin to get extra work in as well. This has also aided in my improvement and has given me a lot of confidence that I can execute some combinations that I feel I can use and will be successful with. I have some 'tricks' up my sleeve for the tournament, I know I can pull it off.

I've also found a way to train with a serious injury that I got at the tryouts. I feel that it is almost healed and that I've mentally gotten tougher from this, it has raised my confidence and belief in myself even more. So, I'm building myself up, I feel better everyday, and I will have absolutely NO excuses come tournament time, I'm going to put it all out there, give it EVERYTHING I have, and have no regrets, whatsoever. I'm focused. Sure there are tons of things going on in my personal life,(things keep piling, my grandmother passed this morning) but I've learned from mistakes in the past, and I am staying focused on what I need do.

Most importantly, I'm going to have fun. I'm going to enjoy the moment. Every minute. I'm going to embrace the company of my teammates and celebrate their efforts. I'm going to fight like I've never fought before, I'm going to live out my dream, I'm going to compete with heart and love every second that I am in there, even when I'm getting punched in the face! I don't know if I will win, I don't know how I will perform, but I do know that when that bell sounds to end my time at GoldenGloves I will have nothing left, because I plan on leaving it all in the ring.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Some Info

So here are some details for The Ontario Golden Gloves Championships. They will take place In London, Ont at The Four Points Sheraton Hotel on the weekend of April 19-21. The winners will advance to The Nationals in BC on July 19, the winners from that competition will go on to The World Cup! I believe there are several people on our team that could go all the way to the World Cup I would not be one of them, The OBA (Ontario Boxing Association) divides the competition classes very fairly and attempts to break down the categories very specifically. I will be competing in the novice category(those that have 10 amateur fights or less) as opposed to the elite category(more than 10 fights). Only those that compete in the elite category will be eligible to go on to Nationals and Worlds. I'm good with that, I just want to compete.

Which brings up some details. We are looking for me to compete at the 139lbs weight class, the next category above will be 147lbs. Syd would like to see me fight at 139lbs. We feel that the 147 lbs category will be tougher for me, and that I will be able to 'hold my own' better at 139. At the time of the tryouts I was 153ish. This morning I was 145. Last week I managed to get down to 142.6, but that was after a workout in a sweatsuit! Realistically I have to get to 142, the rest of the weight I can lose overnight and in a sweatsuit, simply losing 'water' weight. The last time I remember weighing 140lbs, I was in grade 10. I've been a little concerned with how I would feel at that weight so I wanted to get to it as soon as I could before the tournament. The weight cut has not gone well for me. Last week, I feel I dropped too much, too quickly and was very weak in training. Last tuesday in sparring, my legs were shaking after the warm up, and we hadn't even started sparring any rounds! So I figure that it is pointless to train on this low energy, I'm going to eat healthy, ban junk and fast food and try not to pay attention to the scale(we weigh-in every tuesday and friday as a team AND I have a friendly bet with Erika so we weigh-in every wednesday), even though it will be next to impossible. My workouts were so unprductive last week due to how weak I felt that I don't want to sacrafice my developement for weight loss. I believe I can still lose a significant amount if I continue to eat well and train hard and stick to our team running regiment. Hopefully I make the 139, we'll see.

Other than that, I feel pretty good. I've done my best to keep my personal life seperate from my blog although sometimes it is difficult. So much of my journey to box IS personal. It's emotional and everything in my life operates around my boxing, so it is always a challenge to seperate the two. Lately is has been a challenge though, my personal life is, how can I put it, 'colourful' I guess, for lack of the right word. Things never seem right or balanced and as I search for that balance, the only thing that ever feels right is being in the gym. Being in the gym. An addiction. And as an addict, I understand my condition all too well.