This summer, the XXXI Olympiad Games being held in Rio de Janeiro from August 5th to August 21st. The Summer Games are the pinnacle for the amateur boxing world. The coveted Olympic gold medal instantly elevates one into the glorious spotlight of the professional ranks.
The countdown to Rio begins.
Last month in Argentina, the Olympic qualifiers determined the 2016 Canadian Olympic boxing Team. Our three (3) Canadian Olympic representatives are Ariane Fortin, Arthur Biyarslanov and Mandy Bujold.
Mandy Bujold and Ariane Fortin are excellent female representatives for Canada. Both are explosive with fast combinations and good ringsmanship. Arthur Biyarslanov is calculating, with a sharp jab, a good left hook and a quick cross.
But let’s take a closer look.
Ariane Fortin – The 31-year-old Fortin, originally from Quebec City, Quebec competes at 165lbs/75 kg, middleweight division. Fortin fought against fellow female Canadian and friend good Mary Spencer for a spot on the Canadian Olympic Team in 2012, as seen in the documentary film, ‘Last Woman Standing’. Fortin’s only big loss was against the dominating Olympic US female champ, Claressa Shields.
Mandy Bujold – The 28-year-old Bujold, originally from Cobourg, Ontario. Fighting at 112lbs/51kg, the 10-time national champion is trained by legendary Canadian boxing coach Adrain and Armand Teodorescu out of Toronto’s Atlas Boxing club.
Mandy has good handspeed and explosive. She won gold at the Pan Am Games last summer in Oshawa.
Arthur Biyarslanov – The 20-year-old, originally from Makhachkala, Russia and resides in Toronto, was originally trained by Johnny Kalbenn and Peter Wylie of Toronto’s Cabbagetown Boxing Club. He moved to the Atlas Boxing Club, where he was under the tutelage of Adrian Teodorescu, who coached Lennox Lewis to a gold medal at the ’88 Seoul Games.
After the Pan Am Games, Arthur hooked up with trainer Chris Johnson (a former heavyweight Olympic boxer). Arthur competes at 64kg/141lbs.
Arthur will have a biography book released in June 2016 called, ‘Next Round: A Young Athletes Journey to Gold’, by John Spray Pajama Press.
There will be a fundraising amateur boxing club show being held by Atlas Boxing Club at the Old Concert Hall, located at 888 Yomge Street, Toronto, ON on April 29th (Davenport & Yonge St.) downtown venue, for Mandy Bujold, to help support Mandy on her Olympic quest for gold.
No Headgear Rule in Rio 2016
The Rio Games will be the first to introduce amateur boxers without headgear. Any amateur will tell you no headgear makes for better boxing, as head gear is infamous for shifting around on your head at critical moments of a match. There’s a lot of adjusting of the headgear. So for an amateur boxer, the headgear sometimes becomes another opponent besides the one in front of you.
After thirty years of study’s on the use of head gear in the Amateurs, it has been discovered that no head gear is actually safer for the boxer and it creates a better skilled amateur boxer as well. Fighting without headgear, the boxer can see more, becomes more aware, aware of their opponents punches (from all angles) and their intentions.
Often as a competent boxer, you can feel your opponents intentions of specific punches, once you can see everything, you are in much more control and much more aware. Boxing really is a sweet science of skills, strategy and intuition.
Some personal thoughts.
This should be a good Olympic campaign for Fortin and Bujold. They will be facing some tough competition from the US and England specifically, but I like Canada’s chances in the female category. I anticipate a gold medal from one of our female boxers. Mandy Bujold would be my favourite, and my pick for a gold medal in the Rio Olympic Games. The male category always has a number of competitive boxers and Arthur will be in tough against the US, Cuba and England, as they have good teams assembled for Rio 2016.
I will be covering more on the Olympic Games from a boxing point-of-view in the coming weeks and months. I hope to be your source of information, from the inside and help illustrate and educate on the realities of amateur boxing in Canada and the upcoming Rio Games!
Stay tuned, eh!