Trading punches at NAV CENTRE

By Bob Peters
March 27, 2012

Mandy BujoldThe Pan-American 2012 Women’s Elite Continental Boxing Championships are coming to Canada, or more specifically, Cornwall.

The event, being held by the Canadian Amateur Boxing Association at the Nav Centre from April 4-7, will feature 150 athletes and officials from 15 countries.

The event will mark the first time the tournament is held in Canada, according to Francis Beaulieu, project manager at the Canadian Amateur Boxing Association.

It’s a tournament which will be governed by the Olympic Games rules and may preview Olympic competition, Beaulieu added.

“These are Olympic-level athletes from 15 countries of the Americas,” he said.

”All the respective countries’ national champions will be there, including Canada. This is the last competition before the world championships in China in May. It’s a serious tune-up.”

Beaulieu said the Nav Centre will provide the perfect backdrop for a competition of such a high calibre.

“It’s going to be amazing,” he said.

The event will be held in Campbell Hall and will be able to seat 200 people, possibly as many as 250.

The Nav Centre is a high-end venue which can accommodate all the needs of the tournament, including lodging, Beaulieu said.

”It’s just a wonderful venue,” he added. “The team there is extraordinary.”

Beaulieu said the tournament’s organizers didn’t feel it necessary to hold the championships in a major city and felt Cornwall was the sweet-spot between Montreal and Ottawa.

”We kind of meet in the middle and we’re close to the border,” he explained.

”We hope people from the US come to see us as well.”

Ten of Canada’s top female boxers will be participating and Beaulieu admits he’s a bit biased.

“We certainly have our favourites in the tournament,” he said, referring to Mandy Bujold and Mary Spencer, touted as Olympic medallist material at the London Summer Olympics.

“I’m not sure about the other girls from other countries, I’m not the boxing specialist.”

Both Spencer and Bujold carry serious boxing bragging rights, according to Beaulieu.

“Mary Spencer has won the Pan American championship several times, as well as being a world champion a few times,” he said.

“Mandy Bujold is going up that same ladder.”

The two are already part of Canada’s national team and the April tournament will go a long way to determining where they stand heading into the Olympics.

More About the Event

Almost 150 athletes, coaches and officials will show the Canadian public why 2012 is the year of female boxers. This is expected to be the largest of the seven Continentals ever held. The 2012 London Olympics will mark the first time female boxers will compete at an Olympic Games.

"This tournament is a preview to the Olympics. Fans will see some of these boxers in the Olympic Games," said AMBC Women's Commission President, Dr. Christy Halbert who was instrumental in getting women's boxing into the 2012 London Olympics.

The AMBC's President, Dr Domingo Solano, declared that " for its 40 affiliate federations, this is only the beginning of the future for women's boxing in the Americas".

Boxing Canada's ten-member National Team will be competing including three-time World Champion, Pan American and Continental Champion Mary Spencer, along with Pan American and three-time Continental Champion Mandy Bujold.

"Boxing Canada is pleased to play host to this tournament for the first-time in our organization's history," said the President of Boxing Canada Pat Fiacco. "We look forward to welcoming the Americas to Cornwall and an intense competition full of world-class talent."

Daily passes cost $15, or a pass for the entire event costs $25.

Tickets are available for advance purchase at Boxing Canada (613-238-7700) or at Champs East Side Boxing Club at 223 Jarvis St.

The above article was primarily sourced from an article by Tony Muma of the Standard-Freeholder, with supplementary information from Boxing Canada. You can read more articles by Tony on the Standard-Freeholder website:


Category: Sports