CALGARY ó Steve Claggett treats every bout as a learning experience.
Good thing, too, because his next opponent ó Mexicoís Martin Armenta ó has enough experience to write a book on boxing.
ďHeís been in there with a lot of guys. Heís the most experienced guy Iíve ever fought,Ē Claggett said. ďItís always good to fight the guys with more knowledge, because then you learn. Everything they do, I learn from. Say he has some moves or things Iíve never seen in the ring, Iíll see them. All his experience, Iíll gain knowledge from it.
ďIf he had been in just five fights, heíd be a totally different guy. Heís been in 150 fights, so he knows what heís doing. And thatís good for me, right?Ē
Truth be told, Claggett could teach most of his opponents a thing or two.
The 20-year-old Calgarian is currently ranked as the second-best lightweight fighter on Canadian soil. After climbing into the ring with Armenta during Saturdayís pro-am card at the Bowness Sports Plex, heís slated to participate in a a four-man mini-tournament to determine whoíll claim Canadaís vacant lightweight title.
Heís the least experienced fighter in the mix for national bragging rights, but certainly isnít lacking the confidence to get his mitts on the belt.
ďIf youíre thinking that people are going to beat you, youíre not going to win,Ē Claggett said. ďI go in there and I know Iím going to beat these guys. Iíve been training my whole life for it. I know they have a little more experience, but Iím working on it. The advantages they have on me, I think I can make up for with heart.
ďI canít wait to get there in with those guys because I know Iím going to beat them. Itís just a matter or time.Ē
Itís been quite a climb for Claggett, who traded his skates for a sparring partner about eight years ago and hasnít looked back since, cobbling together a 7-0-1 record with three knockouts.
A product of Teofista Boxing Gym in Calgary, Claggett isnít exactly a household name just yet, but heís optimistic thatís about to change.
ďI always knew that I had a calling. I knew there was something I was going to do, but I didnít know it was boxing,Ē Claggett said. ďMy first amateur fight was really tough. I got hit a couple times really hard and it looked like I was losing the fight, but I dug down and pulled it out of me. After the fight, I remember I was so dehydrated I could barely stand up, but the feeling of winning, that feeling was the best.
ďRight then, I knew this is what I was going to do for a long, long time.Ē