Josh Peck and Kyle Oliver have been working hard for the past few months, aiming to be at their peak physical condition this weekend.
The teens have been training in advance of the Canada Winter Games, spending 20 hours a week at Lethbridge Boxing Club.
“Instead of going three rounds with a coach or four rounds with pads, we’ve been doing upwards of five and six,” Peck said.
Their coach said they’ve been pushing their training to the limit so both boxers will have a chance of outlasting multiple opponents to have a shot at the gold medal.
“The boys are ready to go. They’re fit and ready to fight,” Rick Duff said.
Neither Peck nor Oliver have been to the Canada Winter Games before, but are excited to take on the county’s top young talent.
“I think I’ve made a lot of improvements and I’m still making improvements. And I think I’ve made enough improvements to go and win the gold,” Oliver said.
Duff knows how instrumental these games can be for a young boxer.
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He won gold at the Canada Winter Games before he represented Canada at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
“This tournament is one of the best tournaments for youth boxers,” Duff said. “It’s a stepping stone to being a senior boxer, where you can actually get on Team Canada and travel the world.”
It’s a sentiment the boys are echoing.
“It’s a stepping stone, I guess, and it’s something that I really want to do well in and move on to bigger and better things,” Oliver said.
There are 10 Lethbridge athletes across four different sports heading to the games, which kick off Friday and run until March 3 in Red Deer.