By Hans Olson
Although represented by only three, Team Canada’s boxing squad is off to a terrific start in the 2012 games.
Dartmouth’s Custio Clayton won each of his first two bouts, first out-pointing Mexico’s Oscar Molina Casillas on July 29, then Australia’s Cameron Hammond on August 3. Trois-Rivieres Super Heavyweight Simon “Killer” Kean knocked off France’s Tony Yoka in an excellent performance on August 1. Wiarton’s Mary Spencer is the lone female representing the Red and White, and she’ll be in action on Monday.
“So far, so good!” said an enthusiastic Daniel Trepanier, coach of Team Canada Boxing when Boxing Insider spoke with him Friday afternoon.
Daniel is proud of how his fighter’s have performed so far, and knows they’re enjoying themselves.
“The Olympics is a one of a kind experience. It’s every four years, and most of our athletes in boxing, they only do one Olympics because usually after the Olympics, or the Olympic cycle, they turn pro. It’s been an amazing Olympics so far. The people are great, and for them it’s an amazing adventure.”
For Welterweight Custio Clayton, the adventure continues Tuesday.
“He’s fighting England, Freddie Evans from England,” said the coach.
“It’s going to be a tough one. We’re fighting a local guy, but we’ve got a good game plan.”
With a win, Clayton would secure a spot in the finals, guaranteeing a medal for Team Canada.
At Super Heavyweight, the hard hitting Simon Kean is in tough against tournament favorite Ivan Dychko, who, at 6’9 poses a major challenge to the 6’5 Quebecer.
“Yeah [Kean] has a tough guy from Kazakhstan (Dychko), a really big guy,” continued Trepanier.
“He’s not used to fighting bigger guys than him, but we prepared a good strategy and will (look to) pull out the win. The guy’s got a lot of experience, he’s a bronze medalist at the world championships, but nobody is invincible, and right now we’ve got the momentum. Everything is really good with the team. We’re working to make sure we have the win on Monday night.”
“You have to be patient because the other guy is a counter puncher and he’s going to have to make sure to keep really good defense during the bout. We need to fight our fight, and not the fight of the other boxer.”
With the team’s success thus far, it’s only natural to assume after the games Canada may have a couple future stars in the pro ranks.
“We didn’t discuss that right now,” says a focused Trepanier.
“Right now, our main focus is to bring back a medal for Canada. After the Olympics we’ll discuss to see what they want to do. But right now it’s not even in our mind. I mean, for sure they’re going to receive offers, but right now we don’t talk about stuff like that.”
What Daniel Trepanier does talk about is simple.
“What we came here to do is win medals.”