BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
In the year 1972, the Woods family bragging generations of boxing heritage, moved to Port Credit, Ontario, Canada, from Clydebank, Scotland.
At the age of 11, Leslie (Les) Woods Junior witnessed his first world title fight with his grandfather Harry Woods, who was Chief Inspector of The British Boxing Board of Control. Champion Jim Watt from Scotland fought Howard Davis Junior in Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Something that had once been only a thrilling and captivating story as told on many occasions by his grandfather had become an awe-inspiring reality. In the years to come Les would remember this experience and the remarkable impression it left on his young mind in the years to come.
Moving forward, the art of boxing ignited as passion in Les. He was introduced to the most elegant reflection of the sport while attending the St. Andrew’s Sporting Club in Glasgow. He regarded boxing as a gentleman’s sport, radiating an air of class and refinement. While visiting Canada, Les’ grandfather imagined bringing World Class boxing shows to Toronto, displaying the elegance of Scotland’s St. Andrew’s Sporting Club. Tommy Gilmour, president of the club, considered the idea in the late 1980s, but at that time circumstances would not make it possible.
Two-and-a-half decades later, the timing couldn’t be better. One night, over what could now be considered a very providential dinner, Les was inspired while speaking with Olympic Medalist Chris Johnson and World Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis, to bring his grandfather’s dreams to reality and continue his family’s legacy starting up the Global Legacy Boxing promotional company.
On Friday September 11th Toronto will be celebrating its first world title fight in over thirty years. Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), in association with Global Legacy Boxing (GLB) and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), is proud to officially announce the next world title defense of feared puncher Adonis “SUPERMAN” Stevenson defending his World Boxing Council light heavyweight title against Tommy “KRYPTONITE” Karpency in a showdown tagged ‘KO in TO’. The fight will go down at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. The event is part of the prestigious Premier Boxing Champions series, live on Spike TV. This will be the first world title fight in Toronto since Aaron Pryor defended his light welterweight belt against Nick Furlano in June 1984.
The success of this fight will open doors to more matches to be staged here in Toronto, perhaps even at the Air Canada Centre. It is important that Canadians know the sport of boxing is available to them and that they won’t have to travel across the boarder to see a match live.
Fifty year old Lennox Lewis, left for Britain to go pro, after winning gold for Canada at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, due to the lack of opportunities there were to make boxing a career here in Canada. He was born in London, but moved to Kitchener, ON when he was only twelve years old fighting as an amateur for Canada.
Standing at an impressive 6’5, Lewis went on to become a three-time heavyweight champion before retiring in 2004 with a record of 41 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw, with 32 wins by knockout.
Lewis always said throughout his illustrious and historic ring career that when he retired from pro boxing, he wanted to set up a boxing promotional company in Canada to help find, nurture, develop and promote young and talented Canadian fighters.
The fight will definitely be one to remember with Haitian born Canadian Professional Boxer Adonis Stevenson nicknamed “Superman” holding a record of 27 fights with 26 wins and 1 loss, 21 wins by KO. His challenger, Tommy Karpency coincidentally nicknamed “Kryptonite,” hails from the USA, holds a record of 30 fights, 4 losses and 1 draw.
As a co-feature, the current Canadian heavyweight champion Dillon “Big Country” Carman (8 wins – 2 losses, 7 by KO.) from Mississauga, Ontario, will face former Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson opponent, Jamaican born Donovan “Razor” Ruddock (40 wins -5 losses -1 draw, 30 by KO.) A total of eight rounds will be scheduled during the event showcasing young talents from Ontario and Quebec.
Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster or through GYM (514) 383-0666, at GLB (416) 678-6957 or at Ricoh Coliseum (416) 263-3900. Ticket prices start at $40. Tables are also available by contacting GLB. For more information on The Global Legacy Boxing promotional company visit www.globallegacyboxing.com.
Come out and witness the first world title fight in over thirty years!