Young Island boxers prepare for Canadian Golden Gloves

Jason Malloy
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Colton Perry is looking to repeat as Canadian Golden Gloves champ.

The 14-year-old Marshfield resident will be competing in the junior C division this week in Cornwall, Ont., after winning gold in the junior B novice division a year ago.

“I’m hoping to win,” he said prior to a recent training session at the KO-ed Boxing Academy in Charlottetown.

Perry fell in love with boxing two years ago after starting the sport.

“You start seeing yourself getting more in shape,” he said. “It’s addicting. It’s an adrenaline (rush) after a fight.”

He’s already beaten a Canadian champion that is older than him and his coach said it’s hard to get him fights. Howard Watts added Perry is a quick study who is always looking to improve.

“If you tell him to work on something, he’ll work until he perfects it,” the veteran coach said. “He’s a beautiful boxer. He’s got slick hands, slick feet and can punch and trains hard.”

Connor Keating is relative new to the sport. He’s been involved for a year. After losing his first fight, he has won the past two, including a recent victory over Hector MacKinnon of North Sydney 20 seconds into the first round of a bout in June in Sydney, N.S.

“It kind of boosted my confidence a bit,” the 13-year-old Murray River athlete said.

He said the individual aspect of the sport appeals to him.

“You’re not on a team, it’s just yourself out there performing,” Keating said. “You have no one else to blame if you lose to (your opponent) but yourself.”

Watts said Keating is a boxer/

puncher who is very aggressive. The coach is working on the mental preparation side heading into this week’s competition.

“I’m pretty nervous. Thinking about it all the time,” Keating said. “It’s always on my mind.”

But he said having Watts and Perry there to explain what to expect has been a big help.

The two have been working hard to prepare for the competition. Watts estimated they are in the gym training 25 hours per week, including last week when the temperature was 30C. It shows the dedication and commitment they have for the sport, he said.

“These two can go places.”

They leave Tuesday with the weigh in and draw taking

place Wednesday.

Another academy boxer, Charlie MacDougall, 13, recently lost a split decision to Cape Breton’s Aaron Christianson in the 125-pound class.

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 Canadian Golden Gloves

u What – A national boxing tournament for both male and female athletes in junior, youth and elite divisions. The ages range from 11 to 40 years old.

u When – Wednesday to Sunday.

u Where – The NAV Centre in Cornwall, Ont.

u Local flavour – KO-ed Boxing Academy’s Colton Perry and Connor Keating.

u 2013 – The event was held for the first time in 2013 with 55 champions crowned including Perry. Ninety-nine per cent of the boxers had at least two bouts during the tournament and 75 per cent had three.

u Quote – “It is great exposure for the boxer, they will gain great experience. . . It’s a great tournament for the long-term development of Boxing Canada.” - Daniel Trepanier, Boxing Canada high performance director.

u Online – www.canadiangoldengloves.org.

Organizations: Boxing Academy, Wednesday.Another academy, NAV Centre

Geographic location: Cornwall, Young Island, Marshfield Charlottetown Sydney Murray River Cape Breton

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