Posted On:7/28/2006 1:06pm
Style: MT, Boxing
Probe gives boxing agency black eye
Boxing Ontario OK'd mismatches
13-year-old boy fought man, 24
Jul. 26, 2006. 06:04 AM
A provincial investigation has concluded that Boxing Ontario repeatedly allowed mismatches to take place in amateur bouts during the summer of 2002, even though a high-ranking official repeatedly complained about the contests.
Ontario Athletics commissioner Ken Hayashi spent two-and-a-half years investigating the allegations — 84 in total, including a report that a 13-year-old boy was allowed to box a 24-year-old-man. Hayashi made several recommendations to the Ministry of Health Promotion, which oversees amateur sport in the province, urging them to:
Ask Boxing Ontario to hire an external auditor to investigate whether mismatches are still taking place.
Establish a formal system for investigating complaints in all amateur sport in Ontario.
Ensure Boxing Ontario submits weigh-in sheets to its top officials quickly.
Hayashi said it's up to the ministry to decide if it will implement his recommendations.
But none of Hayashi's ideas satisfy Bill Mackie, the former provincial chief official for Boxing Ontario, and one of the first people to complain about the mismatches.
"There were so many complaints by so many people, but the recommendations are so weak," Mackie said.
Ministry officials weren't available for comment yesterday.
Mackie is also disappointed that Hayashi's report, completed in late March, wasn't forwarded to him until yesterday. Instead of an auditor, Mackie would like to see a provincial amateur safety czar who monitors fights and reports only to the ministry — not to Boxing Ontario.
The athletic commission's investigation found that nearly 60 exhibition fights in the summer of 2002 involved boxers mismatched in age, weight, experience, or some combination of the three.
To limit mismatches and ensure safety, Canadian Amateur Boxing Association rules call for opponents to be close in age, size and experience.
But on June 14, 2002, Justin Lalonde, then just 13, boxed 24-year-old Chris Paulins in a three-round exhibition in Timmins.
Although Lalonde, at 210 pounds, outweighed Paulins by 56 pounds, the older, smaller boxer had fought 13 times before. Lalonde had fought just twice. In an exhibition in Sudbury, another boxer with two bouts under his belt faced an opponent with 91 previous fights.
When the Toronto Star first revealed the allegations two years ago, Boxing Ontario president Val Ryan denied the organization did anything wrong.
Yesterday she said the group has already started implementing Hayashi's recommendations — they're preparing to hire an auditor, she said — but stands by Boxing Ontario's safety record.
"On paper he could probably find (that there were mismatches), but it was actually a very safe boxing summer," she said.
"Some people had it in for us, so they nailed us on it."
Mackie is one of those people. The complaints about safety started soon after Mackie became chief provincial official in June 2002.
"When I saw those weigh-in sheets, I blew my top" over the mismatches, said Mackie, who has started a new amateur boxing body called the Ontario Boxing Association.
He sent letters to the Boxing Ontario board of directors warning about the danger of the mismatches, and the lawsuits they might spawn. But the bouts continued. Mackie kept up his complaints and was suspended Boxing Ontario's board in February 2003.
Nevertheless, according to the report, Boxing Ontario blamed Mackie for the mismatches, saying his suspension kept him from officiating effectively.
Boxing Ontario is a non-profit organization recognized by the Canadian Amateur Boxing Association. It receives about $54,000 a year from the Ministry of Health Promotion, and about $400,000 from other sources.
According to Hayashi's report, Boxing Ontario, which claims to govern 80 clubs, 900 competitive fighters and 12,000 recreational members, repeatedly refused to provide documents about the bouts in question.
Many of the fights that spawned the investigation were exhibitions at racetracks, staged as part of a pilot project linking boxing and horse racing. Others, though, occurred as part of "club shows" where boxing clubs match their fighters with boxers from other clubs.
Posted On:7/31/2006 12:56am
A pilot project linking boxing and horse racing?
You mean........sports betting?
Stupid stuff like this is still holding Ontario back, at least Quebec is doing something right for once!
Posted On:7/31/2006 4:21pm
This doesn't really surprise me. Things are run very poorly in the amateur (and pro )ranks in Ontario. It has been this way for a long time. When I started boxing as a teenager, I remember my second bout was a total mismatch. I had one fight under my belt and they matched me up with a black guy from Kingston who had 11 fights! I lost a decision and found out when I was talking to the guy afterwards.
He also thumbed me in the eye during that fight acidentally, but he was cool about it and apologized.
The state of boxing in Ontario and across the country will not improve unless there is a huge surge in interest - which likely will not happen. As it stands now, there is barely any funding and we have a hard time producing competitive fighters for international competition.There are good coaches and trainers out there, but usually they bolt for the US or Britain, same with fighters.
That is the reason I can't stand Lennox Lewis, he did all his amateur boxing in Canada - so our tax dollars funded his training - then he goes back to Great Britain and fights as a Brit instead of a Canadian!! I know he was born there, but if he had of fought as a Canadian we could have had our first heavyweight world champ in over 75 years and might have had some good fights in Toronto.
Quebec is much better than other regions of the country for Boxing. Alberta is not bad and getting better all the time.
Maybe Ontario will get up to speed eventually.
" If one wants to have a friend one must also want to wage war for him: and to wage war one must be capable of being an enemy." - Fr. Nietzsche 'On The Friend' Thus Spake Zarathustra
Posted On:8/01/2006 2:19pm
Originally Posted by OZZ
I remember my second bout was a total mismatch. I had one fight under my belt and they matched me up with a black guy from Kingston who had 11 fights!
That's interesting, just the kind of thing the article was talking about. Does anybody else have any experience with unreasonable mismatches?
Articles and Reviews
Tools and Info