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Local retired boxer inducted into Ontario Boxing Hall of Fame

Syd Vanderpool boxed professionally from 1993 to 2005
Stock photo

On May 11, the Ontario Boxing Hall of Fame ceremony took place in Woodstock, and added a local legend into their ranks.

Kitchener's Syd Vanderpool was among the inductees, and recieved a plaque for his long storied boxing career which spanned 12 years.

For Vanderpool, he says he felt humbled to be among many other boxing legends and took the opportunity to thank everyone who helped him during his career.

"It was really just recognizing some the people that had allowed me to get to that point in boxing where I was and now I was paying it forward."

Vanderpool says his first time stepping into the ring was "unexpected" when his father, who was training his four older brother at the time, had brought them to a boxing event.

The local promoter of the event was short a fighter and was asking around for volunteers, at which point Syd's father turned to him and volunteered his son, who was six years old at the time.

"I put on my brother's boxing trunks that hung down to my ankles, and I threw some gloves on, and I got into the ring," he says. "There was a boy and he was nine years old and I was like I can't get out now, so I had my first fight when I was six and a half and I won that, and I guess my dad realized I was ready."

From there he continued to box until he was 11 years old and decided to take a break he play hockey and soccer.

It wouldn't be until age 17 that he re-entered the ring with the encouragement of his brother Fitz, who was also inducted back in 2016.

Syd boxed professionally from 1993 to 2005, which saw him face to face with some of the greatest boxers in the world.

In 2000, he briefly retired after going against the world champion at that time, Bernard Hopkins, and lost.

The following year he bounced back after training with Everton McEwan in Toronto, who convinced him to come out of retirement.

From there he pushed through the ranks and was unstoppable, winning fight after fight until October 2008.

He saw his first loss in five years against Jeff Lacey and after his next loss against Alejandro Berrio in 2005, he finally hung up his gloves.

Vanderpool retired with a 35-4 record.

It was last year when he received word that he would be inducted into the Ontario Boxing Hall of Fame alongside many other greats, like Steve Buffery, Remo Dicarlo, Jeannine Garside, Barrington Francis and many others.

These days he runs the Syd Fit Health Centre in downtown Kitchener, where he trains atheletes as well as the next generation of boxers.


Phi Doan

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