Three years ago, Tevin Piper of Elmira joined the Waterloo Region Boxing Academy at the urging of his father LeVar and older brother Terrel, who also boxes at the club.Tevin, it seems, had a natural gift, and it wasn’t until he began training at the gym regularly that he discovered his ability to box. Working with his father and head coach Rick Cadilha, Tevin found a safe place to fight within the ring, and he quickly learned how to channel his skills into competition.
Last week Tevin competed in the 12th annual Ringside World Championships in Kansas City. In a gripping fight against Julian McDonald from Fenton, Missouri, Tevin won a hard-fought majority decision against his opponent, claiming his first 95-pound weight class title.
“I enjoy the independence of the sport. I like it better than team sports because you have to rely on yourself and not on other people. It is just you out in the ring,” said Tevin.
There were four boxers in Tevin’s weight class, meaning the 13-year-old had to win only two fights to claim his belt.
“I get nervous when I fight, but when I am in the ring I only think about what I am going to do and not what my opponent is going to do, because if I think about what he is doing that puts doubt in my mind. I just stay positive and focus on my combinations.”
Tevin’s older brother, Terrel, also competed in the tournament in the 106-lb weight class, but lost a split-decision in the semi-finals against Todd Cortez, the United States junior national boxing champion.
“It was a good fight but in the end only one judge thought I had won while the other two thought my opponent won,” said Terrel. “That is how the sport goes. You win some and lose some. It was a really close bout.”
The two brothers trained for months preparing for their Ringside debuts, visiting their gym six days a week working on their strength training, conditioning and boxing techniques. The boys began to travel to Toronto so they could spar with boxers in preparation for their matches in the U.S.
“I am very happy with their performance and the guys they fought had way more experience than what these two have. Many of the American fighters begin at age 9 but in Canada we begin at 10 so that year of training and fighting does make a big difference and the boys proved that they could handle themselves,” said LeVar. “The sport is all about how natural you are and how quickly you can adapt to change.”
This fall Terrel will be adapting to a change in schools as he begins high school at Elmira District Secondary School.
“I am looking forward to it. I think it will be very different than my last school.”
The brothers both say they will continue their boxing training and look forward to getting back in the ring and hopefully winning more titles soon.