Gold is goal of Game boxers

This article is from 1979, found on the walls of Pan Am Boxing Club. Previous generations of Coaches, volunteers and fighters gathered articles throughout the years; creating poster boards containing stories of Pan Am Boxing .

By Allan Besson

Winnipeg Free Press, Thursday, January 11, 1979

Ed Yaremchuk feels three of seven boxers named Wednesday to Manitoba’s Canada Winter Games boxing team are capable of winning gold medals in Brandon Feb. 12-24.

“Kenny Johnson, Daniel Vandal and Bobby Olsen all have a pretty good chance of winning.” Said Yaremchuk, who shares coaching duties with team manager Joe Jesmer. “I feel this is the best intermediate (age 16-19) team Manitoba has ever produced,” continued Yaremchuk.

Johnson, 17, the team’s ace in the hole. Fighting the light middleweight division (67-71, kilograms), he is the team’s veteran possessing the most impressive record.

Johnson, with a 40-15 record, is currently the Canadian intermediate champion. He has held the 1977 Hibbing, Minn., regional Golden Gloves championship, 1976 Canadian Junior Olympic bronze medal and has been Manitoba Champion six years in a row.

Others named to the team were: light flyweight (under 48 kilograms) John Lucas; featherweight (54-57 kilograms) Roddie Kerfont of Flin Flon ; lightweight (57-60 kilograms) Terry Simon also of Flin Flon; middleweight (71-75 kilograms) Mark Collins ; light heavyweight (75-81 kilograms) Dan Vandal ; heavyweight (over 81 kilograms) Don Stevenson.

All fighters except the tow from Flin Flon are the members of the Pan Am Boxing Club

Aside from Johnson, only two fighters sport impressive credentials. They are Olsen and Vandal.

Olsen has been Manitoba champion since 1974, has held Hibbing’s regional championship in 1976-77, and was Eyota, Minn., Golden Gloves champion in 1976. In 52 fights, Olsen has won 42 and drawn once.

Vandal holds the current Hibbing regional championship, is Manitoba provincial champion and won the bronze medal at the Canadian intermediate championships in 1978.

Lucas has fought twice while Collins won his first fight recently in Grand Forks, N.D.

“Lucas is tough, but he might not have enough experience.” Said Yaremchuk of the 16 year-old.

Yaremchuk will take his fighters to Brandon Feb. 13 for a tune-up card which will include boxers from the United States. The card will follow a Feb. 3 -11 training camp at the Pan Am Boxing Club for all the team members.

“They’ll work out three hours a day, five days a week.” Said Yaremchuk.

The card at Brandon is being held for two reasons, said Herb Embuldeniya, Manitoba Amateur Boxing Association president.

“We want to give the boys a card to fight on, and to give Brandon organizers a trial run”.

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