The crowning glory in women's boxing
Forty-five female boxers assembled in Regina, Saskatchewan to compete and become the new Canadian national champions at the 2014 Elite Men’s and Women’s Canadian Boxing Championships, hosted by the Regina Boxing Club. Ten were crowned on October 25, 2013 after an intense week of competition.
48 kg Taveena Kum, Ontario, 51kg Mandy Bujold, Ontario, 54kg Vicky Pelletier, Quebec, 57kg Sabrina Aubin-Boucher, Quebec, 60kg Caroline Veyre, Quebec, 64kg Marie-Eve Dicaire, Quebec, 69kg Myriam da Silva, Quebec, 75kg Ariane Fortin, Quebec, 81kg Alison Greey, Ontario and +81kg Vanessa Lepage-Jaonisse, Quebec, are the new gold medalists.
Three of the winners, Bujold, Pelletier and da Silva were defending champions and the rest are new champions.
Fortin, a well-known boxer who holds two-world championship titles in the 69kg division, was looking to revenge a loss that cost her the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2012 London Olympic Summer Games. That defeat was against the iconic and beloved figure in women’s boxing around the world, the 2012 75kg champion, Mary Spencer.
This time, Fortin won the championship against Spencer, in a bout nuanced with emotion and rivalry.
“I worked very hard for the last year to prepare for this bout and I am very happy that I got the win,” said 29 years-old Fortin.
Spencer recognized her defeat and congratulated Fortin, but said they will see each other again in a month during the Final Team Selection in Quebec.
“Ariane is an excellent inside fighter,” said 29 years-old Spencer.
Fortin set the tone of the bout and made Spencer follow her game plan that was precisely fighting in the inside for four rounds.
The new champions in this year’s talented group surprised not only their opponents but also the fans and Boxing Canada.
48kg Taveena Kum, won her title with great technique and strategy against the very talented Mackenzie Wright from Ontario. She earned the right to box in the finals after winning 3-0 to the reigning champion Kim Klavel from Quebec.
“It feels surreal. This is what I’ve been looking for since I saw Mandy Bujold in 2008. For the last six months I have been preparing for this championship.” said 27-year-old Kum who was awarded the Most Outstanding Female Boxer of the tournament.
In the 51kg division, Bujold, didn’t leave any doubts on her performance during the championship. To the contrary, she was a clear winner in her bouts. She added a new gold medal to her collection and she is now an eight time Canadian champion. She is perhaps the most improved of the boxers who defended titles in Regina. Recently she moved from her hometown of Kitchener to Toronto to train with coach Adrian Teodorescu.
“Boxing is my life. This is who I am,” said the 26-year-old Bujold.
“She is very dedicated and focused on her training, it’s a pleasure to work with her,” said Teodorescu
Two unknown boxers, 69kg Marie-Eve Dicaire, from Quebec, and 81kg Alison Greey, from Ontario, are very new to boxing. Eve has been training for two years and since her last big competition at the Canadian Golden Gloves in Cornwall Ontario, has improved tremendously.
Greey, on the other hand, has been training for a year and was inspired by watching Mary Spencer at the Olympics. This newcomer to the sport came to Regina with only five bouts under her belt. Greey overpowered her opponents and won her two bouts at the championships. The first one, by KO in the first round, against Jolene Bonning from Toronto, and the second, a unanimous 3-0 decision against reigning champion Maude Bergeron, from Quebec.
“The entire event, watching the other bouts as well as winning my own, has also given me a renewed sense of purpose and excitement for my training. So I’m really excited to get back into the gym and onto the track,” said 26-year-old Greey, a part time Biology student at the University of Toronto.
Super heavy weight, Lepage-Jaonisse, from Quebec, was incredulous of her win until the referee raised her hand.
“I am really proud of myself and my coach who helped me to prepare for this championship and it’s wonderful to see that there are a lot of people who encouraged me and are proud of me. A great step conquered and I am very pleased,” said 18 year-old Lepage-Jaonisse, who came to Regina with only seven bouts, has been boxing since 2012 and is one of the new talents in women boxing in Canada.
The winners will be challenged in one month during the Canadian Final Team Selection in Quebec City, November 18-23, 2013. The participants will be announced no later than November 1, 2013.
Boxers will be chosen according to their performances during the championships. A committee from Boxing Canada will decide who these boxers will be. There is a quota of four boxers for each weight division.
The Final Team Selection is a procedure that Boxing Canada implemented in 1969 with the idea of having Teams A & B with the best boxers in the country.
Team A will compete in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland and the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Canada next fall. The World’s dates and city will be announced shortly.
Boxing Canada feels very enthusiastic about the great number of new women boxers and their talents.
“Our future in women’s elite boxing looks bright,” said Pat Fiacco, president, Boxing Canada. “We witnessed an amazing competition with boxer’s that showed the hunger it takes to win.”
For the first time in history the national championships were web-casted live with results immediately available to the world through Boxing Canada’s digital communications team.
Boxing Canada also worked during the event with dedicated photographers who captured the intense moments of the competition. These photos can be viewed and purchased by visiting Boxing Canada.