Back in the ring
Former Sydney Boxing Club to re-open as Thunder Boxing
Back when Ryan Rozicki was a teenager, it was boxing that took him from a street fighter going down the wrong path in life, to becoming a nationallevel competitor.
Now, he’s hoping for the same outlet for a new generation of fighters.
“I was thinking where I’d be if it wasn’t for the club. It got me out of trouble, so as soon as I saw the opportunity to give back and do what it did for me for younger guys coming up (I took it),” said the 22-year-old from Sydney Forks. “I know there’s a lot of negative stuff around Cape Breton, negative people, so it’s a good place to teach them self-control, all that stuff that I was taught.”
Rozicki, who recently turned pro, has taken over as head coach of Thunder Boxing, formerly the Sydney Boxing Club. He’s being assisted by his manager/father Bobby Currie, Ben Gale, and coaches Glen Williams, Keith Mackinnon, Aubrey MacLeod and Chad Burns.
“We didn’t post it anywhere yet, but there’s word going around,” said Rozicki. The “Thunder” name comes from his nickname in the ring. “I have people coming up to me when I’m working all the time and there’s all kinds of people asking about it. People are pretty pumped.”
The Sydney club located on Cossitt Street in the city’s north end opened in 1975. It’s been known as the Sydney Parks and Recreation Amateur Boxing Club, the Sydney Olympic Amateur Boxing Club, and Rhy-Mac Amateur Boxing Club. Most recently, it was known as the Sydney Boxing Club under Brad Ross, who served as head coach for 15 years.
The club closed in Sept. 2016
after Brad and his wife, Debbie, relocated to Halifax. Many of the 25 fighters from the Sydney club began training at the Membertou Boxing Club as a result.
“It was a long process, but we wanted to keep it going and didn’t want to see it go,” said Rozicki.
For Williams, who started coaching at the club with Ross in 2008, he’s glad to see the club back up and running. Along with coaching at the club, he’s also Rozicki’s head coach for his pro career.
“It’s huge,” said the 45-yearold from Sydney, who first boxed at the club as a teenager. “You get a lot of good kids, you get a lot of kids who can be good and just fall between the cracks kind of thing, but you get them in here, you teach them discipline, there’s some structure and people that care about them when they’re doing things. It makes a huge difference in a lot of kids.”
Thunder Boxing plans to open full time next week once the necessary gear is in place. Anyone interested in the club can join the Facebook page “Ryan Rozicki Boxing” or email Thunder_Management@mail.com.
As for Rozicki, he’ll be preparing for his second pro fight on May 27 at the Aitken Centre in Fredericton, N.B. He’ll challenge Ray Sayers of Ontario at the World Class Boxing fight card.
The team that’s behind Thunder Boxing, the former Sydney Boxing Club, which reopens next week. From left are Glen Williams, Bobby Currie, head coach Ryan Rozicki and Ben Gale.