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Airdrie boxers medal at nationals in Calgary

Humble Boxing’s fierce group of fighters have done it again, recently winning three medals, including two gold, at the Canada Cup & Junior Youth Canadian Championships in Calgary.

Humble Boxing’s fierce group of fighters have done it again, recently winning three medals, including two gold, at the Canada Cup & Junior Youth Canadian Championships in Calgary.

Emily “Ice” Vigneault has been to the show before, and won at nationals last year. This year she felt she had a tougher opponent, but the same result. Vigneault won gold in her weight division, making her a two-time national champion.

“I am really happy I was able to win nationals twice in two years, and I feel really proud of myself,” Vigneault told the Airdrie City View in a recent interview. “I knew I had won all the rounds; so I was pretty confident by the end of the fight I was going to win it. I poured my entire heart into the fight.”

Vigneault credited her opponent for making her dig down deeper than she ever has before.

“She was able to keep up with me,” said Vigneault, who won by decision. “Anyone who can keep up in a fight and challenge each other, that’s a tough fight. I knew I was in a fight after this one.”

While in the ring standing toe to toe, Vigneault said she began thinking back on the challenging and rewarding journey she has had over these last three years since first donning the gloves.

“I was thinking about all the work I put in,” she explained. “During the fight, I was getting flashbacks of everything that was really tough throughout the last couple of months I spent training for this fight. I said to myself, ‘I am going to push. I don’t care how I feel right now. I am going to push until I fall on the floor.’”

She was thrilled when the final bell rang and the referee held up her arm to crown her as a two-time national gold medallist.

“Every time I win a fight, I always get out of the ring and I see my dad first,” she said. “He said to me: ‘You did it.’ And I said: ‘I did it!’ I was so happy.”

Lucas George, owner of Humble Boxing and the academy’s head coach, said he was impressed with Vigneault’s fight as she carried out the game plan perfectly.

“She’s a two-time national champion now, and she is ranked number one in Canada,” he said. “It’s a huge accomplishment and her fight kind of went as expected. We knew it was going to be a tough fight, but she went in there and stuck exactly to our game plan, utilized her footwork, and it paid off. She won all three rounds, unanimous (decision), and she came out with her hand raised.”

Other Humble fighters had success in the ring

Another Humble Boxing savant who has had great success over the last two years is Addy “The Baddy” Lescard, who fights in a different weight class than Vigneault. Lescard has developed an intimidating reputation as a boxer who often has trouble finding opponents willing to take her on. Lescard also won gold at the recent Canada Cup in Calgary, but wasn't fully pleased with the result after winning by default.

“I didn’t get to win the gold the way I wanted to because my fighter didn’t end up showing,” she explained. “So I didn’t get to fight for it, but I still got it.”

Coach George said Lescard needed to keep her win in perspective: she earned it by her training and her preparation over the last several months.

“You win the fight by the preparation you put in months before it happens,” George explained. “She earned that medal. Anyone who knows Addy and has seen Addy inside that gym, knows she works so hard. And anyone they would have put in front of her, she would have earned that gold medal one way or another. She is one of the hardest working athletes I have ever met.”

Lescard agreed she had put in a lot of hard work coming into nationals.

“I want to put on a good show, and I want to showcase that I have skill and I can fight these fights properly,” she said. “Not just going in there and throwing punches. I love the respect, the discipline (of boxing). You can learn all of this, but you can have fun at the same time. And you are always going to be learning something new.”

Humble Boxing’s final medallist at the Canada Cup & Junior Youth Canadian Championships was bronze medal winner Ayden Foster, who had to fight two tough opponents during the championship. He won his first match by technical knockout (stoppage) and lost by a close decision in his second fight.

Foster only began boxing two years ago, and this was his first nationals. Foster said he was impressed by the level of competition that came to Calgary, and he felt he found a new gear during this competition.

“They were nice and fast,” he said of his opponents. “They were much better than the other opponents I have fought … I wanted to try to remain calm and not just throw big haymakers. I wanted to read my opponent properly.”

Coach George said Foster should be extremely proud of his bronze medal achievement, and, more importantly, the way he fought during nationals.

“With Ayden being so young, and being a male fighter, he has got a lot of opposition against him,” explained George. “He has a really tough battle, and he impresses me a lot because it is not easy to get to a national level, and that quickly … The fact he stood in there with the number one ranked guy in Quebec and made people say, ‘Hey, we are not sure who won that (final) fight.’ You should be pretty proud of yourself for that. And taking home a medal from your first nationals is no mean feat.”

All in all, George was proud of how his fighters trained coming into nationals and how well they fought when it mattered.

“I was really impressed with them, considering that the three of them are quite new to the sport,” he said. “To compete at a national level with three years or less experience is nothing short of amazing.”


Tim Kalinowski

About the Author: Tim Kalinowski

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