by Curtis J Phillips
With boxing on the mind, it was time to play Sherlock Holmes and track down one of the great amateur pugilists in local sports annals – Edgar Davis Jr. For the last few years Manhattan Beach, California, has been home base for Davis. Jr., now 45.
Wait a second…did I just write that Davis Jr. is 45!
The image of Edgar Davis Jr. in my mind remains that of a confident, always smiling teenager with the All American looks, stepping into the ring for yet another victory back in the early 1980s’ when the local Clearwater Amateur Boxing Club was one of the best amateur boxing clubs, not only in Canada, but North America churning out champion-after-champion.
How could Davis Jr., now owner of Magnetic Skins Media, and father of three sons between the ages of four and 19, be 45 years old! Plus he is no longer boxing!
“I gave up the sport when I was 23,” said Davis Jr. “I had been training in Montreal (where he moved to when he was 18) getting up every day at 5 a.m. to train and then I moved to Vancouver. The boxing world in Vancouver was non-existent at the time, it was a different spot compared to Montreal. I was done and finished with boxing.”
It was upon moving to Fort McMurray with his family when he was 11, that Davis Jr. caught the boxing bug.
“I had an understanding and a knack for boxing from the first time I laced on the gloves,” recalls Davis Jr. “There was a lot of competition in Fort McMurray, a lot of guys I could train with and good coaching. The community was also very supportive.”
He guesstimates that he laced up the competitive gloves “close to 200 times” and came away the champion “around 150 times.” Included in those wins, were three national titles in middleweight and bantamweight divisions and a trip to Cuba for a World Cup in the early 1990s. The only fight he lost at the World Cup was to Cuban boxing legend Ariel Hernandez, who would go on to win Olympic gold medals in the middleweight class in 1992 and 1996.
“As much as I love Fort McMurray, I loved wearing that Maple Leaf on my chest,” said Davis Jr. of his many international events with trips also to Spain and Finland.
His eventual dream was to represent Canada at the Olympics but never made it past being selected as an alternate. He has no regrets.
“Boxing is a tough sport. I remember climbing into the ring and you are looking at the individual across the ring from you. You have no idea what he was bringing with him to that fight. It was a complete crap shoot.”
It was great to hear that Fort McMurray’s Aircon Technologies had been named the presenting sponsor for the upcoming 2015 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men’s Basketball Championship and the 2016 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s Basketball Championship, both to be held at Keyano College’s Syncrude Sport & Wellness Centre.
To be honest I had no idea who they were. But upon meeting Liam Burgess, Aircon Technologies President and Chief Executive Officer, it was evident that this was truly a Fort McMurray-based business.
Moving here with his folks in 1978 when he was four years-of-age, Burgess would go on to play hoops in junior high and in Grade 10 at Father Patrick Mercredi Community High School for the Trappers.
Of his hoops life after Grade 10, “I came to realize that there were people who were quicker and more dedicated.”
So it is great to see that this sponsor has true passion for helping out in his hometown. Burgess also knows of the importance within sports and community.
“It is probably the root of every community. The skills that you gain while playing in a team environment, it teaches you incredible things as you transition from youth into adulthood and a career begins. It is the comradery and the understanding of sacrifice for a group instead of individual success.”
Catch you on the rebound.