Q&A with Canadian Professional Boxer, Nick Fantauzzi
Undefeated 9-0, Nick Fantauzzi is a rising star in Canadian boxing. Training at the West End Athletic Club, the light heavyweight boxer is currently preparing to fight at the Danforth Music Hall on January 28th.
Ahead of the fight, part of the same card of the fight between Canadian Steve Rolls and Shady Gamhour, we caught up with Nick to discuss his love of boxing and what he likes most about introducing people to the sport.
How did you get into boxing?
When I was younger I was watching the Rocky movies, and I had a bunch of bags in my basement so I went downstairs, I started using them and just fell in love with it.
I started watching boxing, but there were no real boxing gyms in Maple, Ontario where I grew up. I was too young to get into Toronto but a gym opened in Vaughan when I was 19 and that’s when I started. I began training with a trainer in December 2006. By May 2007, I had my first fight. My first amateur fight was in front of 500 people, which was pretty cool.
Why have you chosen to train at the West End Athletic Club?
First of all, the first thing that people notice is how nice the facility is and how well kept the gym is. Then, when you start to train here, you notice the people. It’s not like I’m going to work when I’m training – I’m going to a family environment. It’s a very good group of positive people and that’s kind of rare to find. In boxing, there are a lot of nice people around but at the same time, the West End Athletic Club is really above and beyond what you’d expect.
What do you think the main misconceptions are about boxing?
A lot of people want to try boxing and learn technique. But they come to the gym thinking they’re going to get beat up. Instead, there’s a process you have to follow when you start to train to box. You’re not even allowed to spar until you are adequately prepared – it’s a big liability. If you come to the gym, you don’t even need to take on any contact if you don’t want to.
What do you think is the most important thing for people looking to get into boxing to know?
As the old saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ goes – it’s the same with boxing. People think it’s a lot easier than it is. It’s extremely difficult, even when you’re a professional – even the best guys in the world, they also still have stuff to work on. You have to be patient and you have to take your time. You have to leave your ego at the door.
Photo credit: @patrickanada
What do you love most about your work?
I love the interaction with people. As a trainer, you have people who come to the gym that want to box to get in shape, and others that want a distraction from their life – they need some stress relief – or they want to feel better in general and boost their confidence. You get to help a lot of people. If you get someone over a bad week or a bad month that they’ve had, helping someone do that through boxing is very nice.
What has been the highlight of your career and what is your biggest career goal?
My highlight was when I fought at what was the Air Canada Center, now the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. It was on the Lee Baxter and Mayweather co-promotion and I got a third-round knockout. Ultimately, my career goal is to win a world title. The fight for the Canadian title is the first goal that I want to accomplish.
You can buy tickets to the fight on January 28th here.
You can follow Nick’s journey on his Instagram page: nick_fantauzzi
Article by Olivia Hows, journalist/digital content creator