Fighting Island Boxing Club

Three local boxers bring home gold medals from Ontario Winter Games



By Ron Giofu


A trio of fighters from Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club won gold medals at the recent Ontario Winter Games.

Spencer Quinn, Brandon French and Tiago Balteiro participated in the March 1-4 competition and all took the top spot in their weight categories. Quinn won in the 69 kg category.

“I feel great about it,” he said. “I won the Ontario Winter Games. I was confident the whole way. I trained hard for this competition and it paid off.”

Quinn said it is the second biggest win of his career next to the provincial title he won. He does not know when his next fight is.

French also has this accomplishment near the top of his list, as he won gold in the 38 kg division.

“My fight only lasted one round,” he said, adding it was a 53-second TKO.

French started the fight fast and caused a standing eight-count to be administered to his opponent before finishing the fight off.

“’Just keep throwing’ is what I was telling myself,” said French.

Three fighters from Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club won gold at the recent Ontario Winter Games. They include (from left): Spencer Quinn, Brandon French and Tiego Balteiro.

French trains daily at the Amherstburg gym and is not sure when his next fight is either, but thinks it could be in the next few weeks in London.

Balteiro fought in the 80 kg class and said it was against a tough opponent.

“It was a hard fight,” he said. “I fought well.”

Balteiro said he gave his opponent a standing eight-count in the third round.

“I thought it was one of my best fights,” he said, calling it his biggest win. “I fought older fighters.”

Noting he was relaxed in the ring, Balteiro added “it felt like another day at the office.”

Balteiro said his next fight will be in London March 24.

Fighting Island Boxing Club owner/coach Joe LeBlanc said the Ontario Winter Games was based in Orillia but the boxing matches were held in Midland. There were 3,500 athletes in all with participants marching in under banners for their respective sports.

LeBlanc was pleased with how things went for his fighters.

“I was very happy, very pleased,” he said. “The kids worked hard. It proves when you work hard, things happen. It was a great experience for the kids. It was like a mini-Olympics.”

“Fights at the Knights” showcases area boxers



By Jolene Perron


“I wish more people understood what amateur Olympic boxing was all about. It’s seeing the child that had low self-esteem glow, the kid who got bullied realize that he will not stand for it. Seeing quiet kids become leaders helping other quiet ones. Just ask a parent, and hear what they say.”

President of Fighting Island Boxing Club Joe LeBlanc said while most people believe what they see in the movies and on television, that’s not what true amateur Olympic boxing is.

LeBlanc said they try to hold shows once or twice a year to help fund other tournaments and shows they attend throughout the year, and to showcase their young up and coming fighters.

Brandon French connects with a punch versus Owen Will during their matchup Nov. 18. It was one of the boxing matches at “Fights at the Knights.”

“Every athlete that wants to fight can, providing that they are ready mentally and physically,” said LeBlanc. “All competitors are matched according to their age, weight and experience. When they are in a competition judges determine the outcome, as to who wins. All is done on points. There are three judges and a referee determining the fight.”

During the Nov. 18 event at the Columbus Community Hall, gyms from Toronto, Waterloo, London, Chatham, Sarnia and Windsor all came out. All the fighters who participated Nov. 18 will be participating in the provincials in Toronto Dec. 7-10. The event also served as a tribute to a fallen member.

Rebecca D’Adostin (right) makes
contact with her opponent Bridget Doyle during their matchup.

“Stevie Wigle started at the gym when he was 10-years-old and competed continually until his accident,” said LeBlanc. “Stevie was principal champ and attended the national championships representing Ontario two times, medalling both times. He was starting the process of becoming a new coach, and was a mentor to all the young fighters in the club.”

Fighting Island Boxing Club winners of the night included Brandon French, Jesse Hasson, who was also named boxer of the night, Lucca Capola and Spencer Quinn. LeBlanc said “Stevie Wigle was smiling down on all of his club mates.”

For more information on Fighting Island Boxing Club, visit them at 300 Victoria St. S. or give them a call at 519-962-5186.