Reaching His Peak at 49

The location was the Cabbagetown Gym. It was there that he sweated and punched, shadow-boxed and beat back the bag. It was none other than former Canadian heavyweight Donavan “Razor” Ruddock, training full-time, attempting at the age of 49 years old to become a three-time champ.

“When I fought Tyson, we would take three months off and not do much” he said. “It’s different now. We train full-out, every day. No breaks”. He pauses and catches his wind. “No one can keep up with me here sparring in this gm. I honestly feel that I’m in the best condition of my life. What I eat now is better too than what I would eat back then” (during his era with Tyson).

The new location come the evening of November 14th for Razor Ruddock — as well as the legendary George Chuvalo and special guests, all ready to sign autographs — will be the Julius Banquet centre at Finch and Weston Road for the “Emery Village BIA Presents the Spider Jones Fight For Youth Boxing Championship”. No, Razor won’t be on the card that night, instead he’ll be eating veal ringside and watching Boxing Ontario sanctioned amateurs fight instead in the charity boxing event.

Former Golden Gloves champ and local Emery Village celebrity Spider Jones will be centre stage with his work at his “Believe to Achieve Foundation”. That’s the organization that provides the nearby after-school drop-in centre. The charity event will help Spider with events and youth programs. The charity night will also help two deserving young adults with two separate five thousand dollar scholarships provided by the Emery Village BIA.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the kids”, says Spider Jones. It’s also going to be a great night of entertainment. Others in the sports world are just as encouraged by the upcoming charity event. “It does sound like a great thing to do, I hope to be there too and Spider Jones has been on my show ‘Off the Record’ many, many, times” says TSN’s Michael Landsberg. “Good for Emery Village” he says.

In his column in this the second edition of the Emery Village Voice, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, a long-time supporter of Spider’s work with kids, referred to “carrots and sticks” when it comes to conforming young people. The same principle works for all people. We know what the sticks are. But the “carrots” of opportunity and care aren’t there enough for what are termed “at risk” kids in “at risk” neighbourhoods.

That’s why the evening this coming November 14th will be so special. It will be about showing up and recognizing that the biggest fight for kids isn’t in the ring or the Octagon, but in the heart.

That’s also a place where Spider Jones is a champ.