Back in the ring

For­mer Syd­ney Box­ing Club to re-open as Thun­der Box­ing

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY T.J. COLELLO sports@cb­post.com On Twit­ter: @cb­post_s­ports

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.

T.J. COLELLO/CAPE BRE­TON POST

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.

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