Pro fighters Tony Luis (left), of Cornwall, and Custio Clayton, of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, at Champs Eastside Boxing Club on Saturday, before a sparring session.
of : TODD HAMBLETON/CORNWALL STANDARD-FREEHOLDER/QMI AGENCY
Champs Eastside Boxing Club owner and head coach Jorge Luis has been rightfully proud of his facility for years.
And the latest goings-on that have Luis smiling are the sparring sessions between two pro fighters — his son Tony Luis, and former Canadian Olympian Custio Clayton.
“It’s world-class sparring for both of them, in our little town, in our little gym — something like this doesn’t happen very often,’’ Jorge Luis said.
“I feel blessed to have this happening here.’’
Tony Luis, in the lightweight division, is preparing for a fight on Jan. 30 at the Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut, against Philadelphia’s Karl Dargan.
Clayton just turned pro and is 1-0, and getting ready for a bout at the end of this month in Gatineau, at the Casino du Lac-Leamy.
Clayton is from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, but he trains in Montreal, and having sparring sessions with a fellow pro an hour down the highway seemed like a smart thing to do.
“(Clayton) wanted to spar with someone with speed, and so did we,’’ Jorge Luis said. “It’s a perfect marriage.’’
They’re each other’s main sparring partners all this month. On Saturdays, Clayton has been visiting the Cornwall gym, and usually there are six to eight rounds of sparring, or sometimes just four to six.
Team Luis has been travelling to Montreal once or twice a week for sessions at Clayton’s gym, and the two could end up with 50 or 60 rounds of sparring, overall against each other.
“Oh, easily, we’ll get that much in,’’ Jorge Luis said.
“It’s nice boxing . . . it’s great for Tony. Really, it’s great for both of them.’’
Luis, 26, is 18-2-0 and ranked 14th by the WBA, and his bout at Foxwoods will be televised on TSN in Canada and on ESPN 2 in the United States.
Clayton, 27, was an amateur welterweight division fighter, and Montreal-based promoter Yvon Michel once called him the best Canadian amateur of his era.
Clayton just missed out on a medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, where he was one of only two Canadian male boxers to qualify for the tournament.
Tony will be fighting Friday night Jan 30, 2015 on ESPN2 at 9 pm, or TSN2 at midnight