Mon, September 23, 2013

Canada has confidence in Custio Clayton

By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

LONDON - It's an interesting group, this small Canadian Olympic boxing team.

There's the big French Canadian kid, the Ontario girl who is part Ojibwe descent, and the black dude from the Maritimes.

And while all are new to the Olympic Games, the talented trio is out to prove that, while small in numbers, the Canadian team means business -- starting with Dartmouth, N.S., native Custio Clayton, who leads Canada into action on Sunday in the welterweight division when he meets Mexico's Oscar Molina. The two have met once before when Molina defeated Clayton by one point at the Continental championships.

"But from what we saw in the rest of the tournament, with think Custio will have the edge this time on the Mexican fighter," said Daniel Trepanier, Boxing Canada high performance director. "It's not an easy fight, but I think it's a fight we should be able to grab. And if we look further down the draw, if he wins against the Mexican, he'll fight the winner from Australia or Nigeria. Again, it looks really good."

Trepanier called the 69-kg weight class the toughest at the Olympics and said while Clayton has won't any major international tournaments, he believes, on any given day, the quick fighter -- the first Nova Scotian to fight at the Olympics since Scotty (The Orchard Boy) MacIntosh in 2000 -- can beat anyone. In the case of Molina, Custio believes, in his mind, he beat his opponent in that one-point loss and is confident that he'll dominate even more this time.

"I've been working on of my defence, movement, and trying to throw more combinations, and to make sure they count," said Clayton, who quit boxing at 17 for a couple of years to concentrate on school. "Right now, I'm just trying to stay relaxed and focussed. But I came here to fight, not to play around."

steve.buffery@sunmedia.ca

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