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River City boxer itching to lace up at the Golden Gloves

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Troy Shantz

Blake Loxton has a score to settle.

The 24-year-old Sarnia boxer has 17 matches under his belt, with the 18th scheduled for this weekend in Kitchener at the first round of the prestigious Golden Gloves tournament.

He’s been here before. And though Loxton won a bronze medal at the 2015 Golden Gloves, he’s not keen on settling for anything less than gold.

And he suspects he’ll bump into a few familiar faces along the way.

“There’s a good chance I’m gonna be running into some guys I’ve competed with in the past and who have won close decisions over me,” he said.

“So I’m anxious to prove myself.”

Loxton is one of seven boxers from Sarnia’s River City Boxing Club making the pilgrimage to Kitchener.

Ryan Huggett and Mandy Taylor — daughter of multi-title winning Tim Taylor — are also on the ticket of the amateur match series.

“We’re all pretty much different weight classes and different fight experience levels,” Loxton said of the team.

Some have fewer than five fights under their belt while others like Taylor have 40.

Also representing River City are Connor McRae, Kyle McRae, Eric Walker and Kyle Murray.

The tournament is promoted by North American boxing champion Syd Vanderpool. Winners in Kitchener advance to the next round in Mississauga 20 days later.

From that could come a shot at the national championships, a goal for Loxton who plans to turn professional.

“For myself, I feel like this is a real big part in my career,” he said.

Loxton said it’s a great time locally for the combat sports of boxing, wrestling and martial arts.

“I’ve always known that Sarnia has had the talent and had the potential,” he said.

Loxton is one of three coaches at River City, in the basement of the former YMCA building on Mitton Street. The gym prides itself on inclusion and openness to anyone who wants to learn to fight or get in shape.

“We have all different age groups and all different backgrounds and levels of experience that come in, Loxton said.

The River City Boxing Club is open Monday to Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets to the Golden Gloves in Kitchener on April 8 are available at



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