For the eighth straight year boxers from around Ontario will converge for one night, to put on a display of fisticuffs in honour of one of the founders of their sport.
The annual Dave Sparkes Memorial Boxing show is set to take place this weekend on Saturday October 15th. Thirteen bouts of amateur boxing are scheduled to knock out fans at the Morrow Building, in Morrow Park. The event will showcase male and female boxers of all ages from Barrie, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Peterborough.
Kerry Hendren, the organizer of the event has been instrumental in the establishment of the boxing show. Hendren is owner of the newly established Golden Gloves Boxing Club as well as The Boxing Factory, which is based in Lindsay.
The annual show is a tribute to one of boxing’s founding fathers. Dave Sparkes is one of the key figures in organizing boxing not only in the area, but also in Ontario.
Sparkes, a boxing coach and official, was one of the architects of the provincial boxing organization: Boxing Ontario. It formulated an official structure to the sport in Ontario, which at the time, was largely based in backyard or back rooms until the associations inception in 1972.
The association currently includes more than 80 clubs in 5 regions with 900 competitors and about 12,000 more recreational members.
To Hendren, the decision to honour Sparkes was an easy one.
“I believed it was a good thing to do for someone who has put so much into the sport.”
The two were no strangers during their careers.
Sparkes coached at the same gym that Hendren trained at. He was also a high level boxing official and oversaw more bouts than one could count.
“He probably officiated over 50 of my bouts,” said Hendren fondly.
The 2011 Dave Sparkes Memorial Boxing Show is a fundraising event, with proceeds to benefit amateur boxing as well as the Peterborough Agricultural Society, who has joined forces with the Golden Gloves Boxing Club to co-host the boxing exhibition.
Tickets are $15 dollars in advance or $20 at the door with every ticket that is sold receiving a free one-month pass to Gold’s Gym.
Doors open at 6:30pm with the event kicking of at 7:00pm.