Friday, January 18, 2019

If It Ain't Broke...

    ENTRY 449


My coach told me yesterday that I was going to Brampton.
Personally, I am thrilled since I have never been in the Brampton Cup before. 
I went last year, but if you remember my bout was cancelled.
Let's hope that does not happen this time.

I hope the club gets a hotel room like in Niagara Falls. I know Brampton is not that far, but the weigh-in is at 8 in the morning and they are held at the hotel. 
It is a huge freaking pain in the ass to get to Brampton at that time in the morning on a weekend without a car. 
It would be easier to just stay there overnight.


Okay, so I have to admit that some of my boxing techniques are based on Mike Tyson's techniques. I also have to say that some of my coaches are not huge fans of Mike Tyson's way of boxing. 
That has lead to some conflict.
I have adopted his form of defense. Both gloves up with thumbs pointed out to the sides.
It works for me quite well. However, one of my coaches absolutely hates it when I do that.
He insists that I hold my gloves further away from my face and apart so I can parry.
Okay, but I don't feel comfortable defending that way. I feel that there is too much room for something to get through, and I prefer to block rather than parry. Mike's way doesn't allow anything through and it works for me.
I can understand coaches making suggestions when an athlete is doing something that isn't working, but what I am doing is working, so why change it?


While on the topic of defense, I found out the hard way this week that I still need to work on body defense. Even though Mike's defense works great for me against Head Hunters, the rest of my body doesn't agree.
Sparring was tough on my ribs and abdomen area this week. I am still in pain as I write this.
One of my sparring partners likes to go after the body. He seemed to have a very low hit ratio when trying to hit my face and head but was much more successful at landing body shots.
Working on body defense will be a priority going into the Brampton Cup.

I know some of you are thinking that is the reason the coach wants me to change the way I defend, but holding by hands further from my body is going to make defending my body more difficult. Won't it?

I am going to speak with all the coaches about this to find the best solution because there is no way I am going into the Brampton Cup with piss-poor body defense. 
Especially with all the masters currently registered for the Brampton Cup having very few bouts or none at all, they are for sure going to be very aggressive against a guy with 9 bouts.
I have to be ready for that.


Last year Cabbagetown Boxing Club won the Brampton Cup cup.
Honestly, I didn't even know there was a physical cup. I thought that was just a name, but no, there actually is a Brampton cup. It is currently sitting on a shelf in the Cabbagetown Boxing Club. I never though to photograph it. I should have.
Anyway, it is given to the team that has the highest percentage of wins during the tournament.
That puts pressure on me. Not just myself, but all of the Cabbagetown boxers. We want to bring home the cup again this year.
Best of luck to my teammates. Everyone work hard this next couple of weeks. 
Let's show the world that the best boxers are from Cabbagetown.


--Paul 'The Brick' Brec


Friday, January 11, 2019

Leave It To Me To Piss Off A Radio Station ~ Karma Got Me

    ENTRY 448


After I heard morning host Stu Jefferies on Boom 97.3 singing along to Neil Diamon's 'Sweet Caroline', it prompted me to post it to the Reddit community r/radio. 
I figured it would create an interesting discussion, and after all, that is what the internet is for.
I posted a video of the radio recorded while Stu was "singing", and called it "Annoying Morning Show Host"

It did start an interesting discussion.

I even received a response from the program director:

First of all, thank you u/paulbrec for posting this. Allow me to chime in as the Program Director of boom 97.3, Toronto. When Stu first started doing this, I was all..."WTF, is he doing?". The old school radio guy in me scratched his head and thought "that's bad radio". Then, I realized it for what it was: a morning radio guy having fun, breaking the rules, being DIFFERENT and relating to the 1000's of people that do the same thing when they hear the song. BTW, have you ever been to a Neil Diamond concert?

Then, the audience chimed in and they LOVED IT. Well, 97.3% of them did - so, it is what it is. If you don't like it, don't listen. If you do, sing a long. Also, it's not like you can't find this 50 year old song (as of this year) on its own somewhere and listen to it however you like. Kudos to Stu!

In addition, on Friday morning, Stu read the post on his morning show and he was very nice about it. Ultimately, he said that it was all done in good fun.
He handled it well.

It is just that when I worked in broadcasting, talking over the music was considered unprofessional.
I guess things have changed, and with all due respect to Stu Jefferies, being different on the radio makes for an interesting show.

Read the Reddit post HERE.


Sparring was rough on Friday morning.
We are ramping up for the Brampton Cup and I asked for more aggressive sparring.
That I got.
I caught a few more punches than usual. I learned how to block punches with my face.
Rougher than the usual session.

I was beginning to feel like Karma was getting me for what I posted on Reddit.


--Paul 'The Brick' Brec


Friday, January 4, 2019

Congrats To Jennifer ~ Moving On Down

    ENTRY 447


I would like to extend best wishes to Jennifer Huggins who is now the new head official for Boxing Ontario.
Although I was not a fan of her coaching back in the day, one thing that I liked about her was the "classroom" training. She always did one class where she would teach her boxers the rules of boxing. That is important and is one thing that I feel that more coaches should do.
Jennifer is very knowledgeable of the rules of boxing, so in this case Boxing Ontario made a good choice in selecting her as head official.

I look forward to working with her.


The count down to the Brampton Cup is underway. 

I am working hard to not only make up for the month off but also I need to loose a bit of weight to get down to the lower weight category. I need to get back down to the 81 kg class.
I moved up a class for the Golden Gloves and that didn't work out well.
Every time I do that, I pay royally for it. You would think that eventually I would learn. 
I am currently at 83 kg, so I need to drop 2 kg or about 5 lbs. by weigh-in.

With my new work schedule, I can go into the gym every day. That doesn't mean I will but I am able to.
I am on my normal tournament training schedule of six times per week.
I will make sure to get a lot more sparring in as well. Very important.


--Paul 'The Brick' Brec


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Preparing To Prepare For the Brampton Cup ~ The Year In Review

    ENTRY 446


The 2019 Brampton cup is a little less than six weeks away.
Once the Holidays are over I will have just about one month to prepare.
There is already one guy in my division. I have to make sure I stay below the 81 kg threshold to stay in Light-Heavyweight.
For the Golden Gloves I went up a bit and it turned out to be a mistake.
The problem is going to be resisting all the junk over the Holidays. I'm going to be the only "freak" at the party saying, "I can't eat that. I'm in training". Hee...hee...hee...
Right now I am hovering right around 81 kg, but sometimes I slip to higher.  I have to make absolutely sure I am no higher that 81 at the time of weigh-in.
The current registrant for the Brampton Cup is from Detroit. I have already met him through Facebook. 
I want to make this work because I have never had an opponent from out of Ontario. I think this will be quite interesting.

I have not been to Cabbagetown all month, but that does not mean I have not been exercising. 
I have still been doing my weight training and cardio at Bloor Fitness. I am just taking a bit of a break from boxing training.

Although I admit I have been upstairs in the boxing area doing heavy bag and shadow boxing, a bit, but, hey, it's the Brampton Cup! I have to be ready.

I was very stressed at the Golden Gloves and it was recommended by the Boxing Ontario medical examiner that I take a break. 
Even he could tell that I was stressed out of my head.
This hiatus from boxing is going to help. Then, when I start up again on January 2, I will be refreshed and ready to go.


2018 was an interesting year.
It saw me realize the importance of having a good coach.
It saw me finally finding a good coach, and realizing how poor most of my previous coaches really were.

I have been criticized for frequently changing gyms and coaches. 
First of all, if I want to change gyms frequently, that is my right. More importantly, the reason for doing so is that you really can not tell how good a coach is unless you actually get the chance to work with him. Otherwise, you are making an unfair assumption. 
Let's all be honest, many coaches don't like coaching Masters. There are coaches out there who are only interested in guys who want to become professional. 
It is easier for the younger guys. They can go anywhere and get decent coaching. 


No one can really predict the future.
However, we can help steer it into the right direction.
I still have a major announcement to make. I didn't forget. I will be making the announcement right here after the Brampton Cup.


For boxers, coaches, and clubs interested in the Masters division, I have created a Reddit community to discuss anything about Masters boxing.
Please visit here: Masters Boxing on Reddit for more information or to request to join. Once accepted, individual posts do not need approval.


Metropolis Broadcasting was unhappy with the server performance provided by the last provider.
Therefore, we are in the process of changing providers, moving and upgrading servers.

We are pleased to announce all new programming provided 24/7/365 beginning sometime in January.
Look here for updates.


From me, "The Brick",  and everyone at Metropolis Broadcasting, we wish you all "Whatever Doesn't Offend You".

We will be back during the first week of January.


--Paul 'The Brick' Brec

Friday, December 14, 2018

Brampton Cup Surprise

    ENTRY 445


I just recently participated in a discussion on the Masters Boxing Division Facebook group.
I was talking about coaches and about how I have had a lot of poor coaches in the past and about how great my current coaches are.

This past weekend I met the head coach, Peter Wylie, for the very first time and he is an awesome guy. I told him how happy I was with the coaches at Cabbagetown.
I meant it. Although they are not perfect, they are the best I have had in the six years I have been boxing.

My training coach, Johnny Kalbhenn is very humble about his past. He really does not talk about himself. 
Anything I know about him I had to research myself. 
Thus far I know that he was in the 1984 Olympics. That is cool on its own, but I recently found out more. He was in movies and TV shows.
He was a cornerman in the film "Cinderella Man".
He was a referee in "Against the Ropes" and "Phantom Punch" and also in the TV movie "Rocky Marciano".

Wow, cool.

I have not seen any of these, but I guess I will now.


Just like with the Golden Gloves, I wasn't planning on going to the Brampton Cup.

However, I thought that this may be my very last chance to be in it, I was still contemplating.
However, yesterday, I guy from Detroit registered in my division.
He actually mentioned it in a comment in the Masters Boxing Division Facebook group. 
He asked me if I was going to the Brampton Cup.
I wasn't sure, but I guess I am now.

That means that after my well-deserved break, it will once again be crunch-time.

I may have considered finishing my break a week early, but that will be the Holidays and the gym will likely not be open most days, so I will rest and prepare.

Brampton Cup training begins in two weeks! 

NOTE: Next week will be the last blog entry for 2018. There will be no blog during the Holidays.


--Paul 'The Brick' Brec

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Another Golden Gloves Is History

    ENTRY 444


To say the least, this past weekend was interesting.

I enjoyed staying in Niagara Falls.
The boxing club supplied the hotel room. 
We stayed at the Marriott right across from the convention center.
We went for dinner with the coach on Friday and then after we took a walk along the Falls to "work it off". 

View from the hotel

"Work-off Walk"
"Work-off Walk"

Convention Center in Niagara Falls

As for the Golden Gloves, not so much.

Both Masters bouts ended in an RSC 1.

I am not surprised by Ian Smith's bout. I expect it to end that way.

Mine. I expected to do a bit better. I at least expected to go at least the full three rounds.
I was completely thrown off because my opponent changed from his usual technique.

I was told that he likes to work inside. The advise I was given was to jab him away.
I did that and it didn't work. He came in with a flurry from the outside and pushed me back.

He changed his strategy.
I had advice from a former opponent and also my coach gave the same advice because we were expecting him to try to get inside. 
My strategy was different. 
I wanted to fake left, step right, fake a jab, drop to the body and throw a left and right hook to the body, then up and jab the head, pivot right, drop down and jab the body, then overhand right to the forehead.
I really wanted to try that but my coach was dead set on keeping him away with a constant jab.
I did that and it obviously didn't work.

I am now one bout away from becoming Open class.

I have decided to take a few days (a month) off from boxing. I need to unwind and not think about the boxing gym for a while. I need to refresh and get my crap together.

I can still do my running and swimming at the University of Toronto Athletics Department where I usually go on weekends. For the rest of my training, I can go to Bloor Fitness. 
Just because I am taking a break from boxing does not mean I should completely stop exercising.  

I will be returning to boxing training during the first week of January, but I really want to ramp up sparring.
One thing that threw me off was having an aggressive opponent. I need more aggressive sparring. The coaches have to stop with that damn Grandpa Syndrom when it comes to sparring. 
**Don't go easy on the Master because his opponent won't.** 
Open sparring should be just like a competition. Anything less won't help.


--Paul 'The Brick' Brec

Friday, November 23, 2018

Looks Like I Am Going To Niagara Falls

    ENTRY 443


To be totally honest with everyone, I wasn't expecting to get into the Golden Gloves this year. Although I was training for it, the back of my mind was telling me that it wasn't going to happen so it affected my training a bit. I probably could have put a bit more into it.
I didn't go to the Silver Gloves because I didn't have an opponent so I was expecting the same to happen with the Golden Gloves. 
I asked my coach to not to register me for the tournament unless there was an opponent for me. Sure enough, yesterday, a guy from Ajax registered.
It was odd because it was a higher weight class, but the coach put me in at that class anyway.

Suddenly, all the Masters came out of the woodwork.
That is a lot of Masters signed-up for the Golden Gloves.
Look at Middleweight. I think that is the first time I have seen more than two in the same category. There is going to be a bye in that category. Unusual for the Masters.

Oh and look, It's the triumphant return of Ian Smith.
Remember my buddy Ian from the Bronze Gloves?
I can't help but feel a bit sorry for that guy with zero bouts if he stepping into the ring versus Ian.

As for myself, I have one bout. I'm not sure what day it will be. I will find out on Monday.

I am ramping up training like crazy. 
Coach has me sparring like a madman. 10 rounds on Thursday and 10 rounds on Friday, and possibly at least one session next week.

This is also my very first time representing the Cabbagetown Boxing Club.
The pressure is on.

There will be no blog entry next week as I prepare for the Gloves, but I will keep everyone updated with Special Entries.


Currently training 6 days a week, until November 26:

MONDAY: Swimming, 25 min @ University of Toronto Athletics 
TUESDAY: Technical Training and Sparring 90 min @ Cabbagetown Boxing Club
WEDNESDAY: Core and Weight Training, 60 min @ Cabbagetown Boxing Club 
THURSDAY: Technical Training and Core Training 90 min @ Cabbagetown Boxing Club
FRIDAY: Sparring, 6 - 10 rounds @ Cabbagetown Boxing Club
SATURDAY: Running/sprints, 30 min @ University of Toronto Athletics
SUNDAY: Rest day


--Paul 'The Brick' Brec