A Brief History Of Boxing In Canada

In Canada, boxing has been a traditional sport for around two centuries. While it is true that it was outlawed for a time, before its legalization and proper acclimation, it was still verily practiced in all parts of Canada. It was practiced before the Canadian Confederation of 1867 came into existence. It was illegal in Canada for an extremely extended period (when compared to how long Canada has existed, not as a continent or society but as an officially recognized country) during what was known as the ‘bare-knuckle’ era.

However, this did not stop everyone’s favorite country from practicing that sport! These fights, being illegal, were forced to take place in so-called ‘unknown’ areas. They also (being illegal, still) were without insurance or protection, and so these uncensored fights had very few rules and would, from time to time, result in unsavory endings. The very last illegal, remote, and unknown Canadian boxing match has been recorded as being in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the year 1901.

Tommy Burns was a pre-Olympic (amateur, and not a legal professional) Canadian boxer who was the first Canadian to officially and legally win a heavyweight title! He also went on to become one of the most revered heavyweight champions in the world. Speaking of which, he was the world heavyweight champion boxer in 1906. He defended his title precisely, and not more nor less than, ten times before finally conceding and losing to heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in the year of 1908.

He was the first Canadian to win this title, and it was ended soon after Jack Johnson grabbed ahold of it in the year 1908. No Canadian ever held that title again until over a hundred years later! In Q2 of 2014, a heavyweight boxer (and former champion, of course) by the name of Bermane Stiverne won the ‘WBC’ World Heavyweight Championship after six rounds of continuous fighting with Chris Arreola.

No professional and legal sport, especially a heavily-dependent physical sport such as boxing and kickboxing, is made without its governing bodies. Canada had outlawed itself from boxing for so long that many ‘underground’ administrative organizations sprang up immediately once the ban was lifted. Because of this, there is a lot of tension and debate about which governing body is currently the oldest, and there are quite a lot of contenders for this prestigious honor. Take a look at some of the most famous boxers in Canada’s history.

These administrative judges and forces, which created the local rules for each bout, were pre-existing before the ban was lifted. Some notable contenders are as follows:

  • National Championship of Canada (which was previously the Canadian Boxing Federation)
  • Canadian Professional Boxing Council (which stands for CPBC)
  • ‘NABA’ Canada (A title given by the official North American Boxing Association)
  • WBC Amateur Boxing Canada (Catchy names, I know. This is the ‘official’ governing body for amateur boxing in Canada)

All in all, the Canadian boxing league is as lively today as it was when it was first coming about, and particularly when it was illegal.

Getting Started in Amateur Boxing – Becoming a Boxing Coach

When it comes to sporting events, the coach is the person behind the scenes calling the shots and making sure everything is done to win. Every sport has one but no sport’s coach is more misunderstood than that of boxing. Everyone just thinks they stand in the corner and just watch what’s going on. The truth is they are the one responsible for teaching the correct techniques, refining the boxer’s skills and being ready when the bell rings.

As a boxing coach, it’s up to you to properly train your athlete into a competition and into the winner’s circle. A well-trained boxer is physically and mentally fit and strong. He must possess all of the necessary skills needed to dominate his opponent and the tools necessary to perform at the top of his game.

Here are some steps to take to become the best coach you can be for an up and coming boxer:

Have a sit down with a corner man to go over all the different supplies you and him will need during a match. This should cover any scenario you may encounter. You should think about everything that could happen from the pre-fight warm ups to ice bucket used after the fight is finished.

Once the supplies are taken care of, it’s time to start working on the boxer. First, work on his hand speed. Typically speed bags are used. They are popular in the boxing world because they help a boxer cultivate their reaction times. Plus they can be placed anywhere in the gym for ease of use. Once, they’ve mastered the speed bag, it’s time to move on to the jump rope. Many would be boxers quit because of the intense workout the jump rope can put them through. These workouts build up endurance while works on increasing a boxer’s foot speed.

You can put your boxers through some of the most intense training workouts there is but with any experience in the ring, they won’t last in a real match. Get them some much-needed practice in the ring by teaming them up with comparable sparring partners. Now they can develop the skills firsthand need for success. Don’t go randomly through different weight and class boxers together. They should be matched up together based on the r weight class, skills, and abilities. Only lightweights should be in the same ring with a lightweight. The same holds true for middle and heavy weights.

Boxing matches can sometimes test a boxer’s endurance. Counteract that by building it up through long-distance running and training. While I recommend, actual running outside to do this, I’ve seen other coaches get their boxers on exercise bikes and treadmills as a way of working them.

I try to let the corner man have control of some practices here and there. They are going to need a strong relationship with one another in the match so this helps to do just that. Corner men are mostly known for giving out advice or for first aid during fights but their role is much more. They can also be an effective coach. Improve your own coaching too by learning to score practice rounds. This helps you keep better track of punching statistics and trends.