Mon, September 23, 2013

Boxer Mary Spencer gets favourable draw

By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency


Mary Spencer, native of Windsor, Ont., an Olympic boxer and CoverGirl, is among the most highly ranked women's boxers in the world. This is the first summer that women's boxing will be an official event at the Olympic Games. (Supplied)

LONDON - Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo on Friday wished Canadian boxer Mary Spencer the best of luck at the London Olympic Games.

Not that she really needs it.

Spencer must be living right. Not only did the three-time world champion make it into the Games as a wild card, she received a bye in the women’s middleweight division (75 kg) through the first round of the competition, following Friday’s draw. What that means is Spencer only needs one win at these Olympics to make it into the medal round.

The news gets even better for the Windsor, Ont., boxer. Spencer, who is of Ojibwe heritage, will meet the winner of first round bout between Roseli Feitosa of Brazil and Jin Zi Li of China in the second round on Aug. 6. Li is the 75-kg world champion from 2008 (Spencer also won the gold that year in the 66-kg weight class), but Spencer dominated the Chinese fighter en route to winning the gold medal at the 2010 worlds, defeating Li in the final 14-2.

Everything seems to be coming up roses for Spencer who, despite her three world titles, almost failed to make it into the Olympics when she lost in the first round at the Olympic trials earlier this year.

Friday’s draw wasn’t as kind to Canada’s two male boxers at these Games.

Welterweight Custio Clayton of Dartmouth, N.S., will meet tough Mexican fighter Oscar Molina on Sunday. Molina won a silver medal at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico and was the 2008 world youth champion.

Super heavyweight Simon Kean of Trois-Rivieres, Que., drew Tony Yoka of France in the first round on Aug. 1. Yoka finished ninth at the 2011 worlds and is a member of the French military.

Kean is an interesting story. In 2007, he was on an all-terrain vehicle that crashed in the woods, resulting in his leg being crushed, and now has a partially deformed ankle that doctors repaired using a graft from muscles from the same leg.

“They were supposed to cut my leg (off)” said Kean. “For two weeks, they didn’t know what would happen with my leg. If the graft is good, I’m OK.”

He spent four months in a wheelchair and two months with a cane before he started training again.

steve.buffery@sunmedia.ca

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