AGAINST THE ODDS
Dale grew up in a small town in Canada called Brandon Manitoba. A proud man who recalls a bit of a troubled youth. Getting in trouble at school and at home but managed to move on. Like most young Canadians his goal and dream were to play Hockey. “I’m extremely proud of all my teammates from Brandon and credit them for my determination and work ethic”, Said a smiling Dale.
He played Junior hockey in Flin Flon Manitoba for the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Hockey league and excelled. It is also the time from his childhood that he cherishes the most. He formed a brotherhood with his teammates and learned work ethic and to never give up.
“Playing for the Bombers was huge for me. Just wearing the jersey and being a part of the team was a highlight. The guys I played with in Flin Flon are still my closest friends 26 years later. I love them like Brothers and would be the first guy on the boards, then and now, without a question.”
Boxing was also a passion and many times he dreamed about the adrenaline rush from stepping in the ring. Being from a small City and in a rural area, the opportunities didn’t exist. With no gyms or boxing programs in sight, his only option was to train with his friends in his basement. They did what they could with what they had.
“I always wanted to be a fighter, every day I thought about it. It wasn’t until I Moved to Red Deer Alberta that I had the opportunity to finally be a boxer.”
Dale started training at Pure Fitness Gym, a dedicated CrossFit, and MMA gym. The first goal was getting into shape. The thought of competing in boxing seemed to have passed him until he read a poster that woke up the fighter in him like a corner man with smelling salt.
“There was an event Called Rumble in Red Deer for guys my age! I spoke with Steve Bossion on the phone and asked if I could continue to fight after the event if I chose to he said yes.”
His boxing journey began as did his training at the Red Deer Boxing Club. Working out and rubbing shoulders with other pugilists. Earning the respect of other fighters by putting in the hard work and being consistent. He was living the dream he had as a kid in his basement and now stepping in the ring looked to be a reality. Dale trained for 12 weeks both at the Red Deer Boxing Club and Pure Fitness with coaches Dave Bowness & Jason Macdonald. “It was unreal I would sit in my truck and talk myself into going inside and sparring with these pro fighter guys like UFC fighter Jason Macdonald. So much went through my head I was unsure of myself and scared really.”
Confidence grew with each session and the time to step in the ring was quickly approaching. “My opponent ended up not being able to participate and another guy filled his spot. Steve Bossion asked what I thought about fighting this guy who outweighed me by 100lbs and was 12 years younger.”
The first thought in Dale’s mind was his friends back home and didn’t want them to think he backed out. Dale took the match with excitement but reality quickly hit home. “I lost that first fight in a 1st round TKO in front of many people. Embarrassment was an understatement & I was done. No more, I quit! Or so I thought. Again, J Mac helped me he said, “NO! You’re not quitting. You fought the toughest guy they had! You should be proud of your self!” That’s all I needed to hear,” said Dale.
Competing against younger pugilist was the norm for Dale as there was no Masters program set at that time in Canada. He competed in the Sub Novice division accumulating a 9 and 6 record. Not bad for a 43-year-old but things would change when he heard about The Ringside World Championships. “The Ringside event was & is totally out of this world for me. I felt at home In Kansas City when I saw all the other guys my age.”
Finally competing against guys his age and in his weight class was exactly what Dale was looking for and he took full advantage. In a way, the tough matches as a Sub Novice prepared him for his opponents at Ringside. He knew the fights would be tough but he was up to the challenge. Dale won his division and became a Ringside Champion that day. The journey, the hard work, the sacrifice all became worth it that day.
Dale has since fought in the open division in Canada and now sports a 12 and 8 record. In early June 2013 Boxing Canada approved a new Masters Division so he’s looking forward to fighting as a master from now on. He plans on going back to Ringside every year as well as participating at the Old Dog Boxing Shows in Costa Mesa California. He’s training with Eva Twardokens, a strength and conditioning coach. He’s had two fights with her training and won both matches.
“Really want to encourage all guys over 35 to go to their local clubs & train. You can do it, believe in yourself. It’s not about winning or losing, Step out of your comfort zone and do something your not sure of. It will help you face other stuff in your life you might be afraid of.”
Dale went against the odds only to become a Champion.