Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:53

Young Swift Current boxer ready for nationals

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By Matthew Liebenberg — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Fifteen-year-old Swift Current boxer Jarid Clarke has a clear goal when he travels to Quebec at the end of the month as a member of the provincial team to nationals.

The 2012 Junior/Youth National Championships and FTS will take place from Feb. 28 to March 3 in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec.

For Jarid, it will be his second trip to nationals, where he will compete in the  57-kg weight category.

After his first experience last year, when he attended as an under age boxer, he is looking forward to this opportunity.

“I hope to do a lot better this year,” he said. “My goal is to get gold this year.”

Robert Hattum, who is his coach at the Swift Current Friendship Centre Boxing Club, said last year’s trip was a good experience for the young boxer. He was able to have one fight, which he lost in a close decision.

That trip inspired him to go again.

“As soon as he was done last year he right away wanted to train and go to nationals again,” Hattum said. “As soon as we started up in September his first thing was, ‘Let’s get going, I want to be ready for nationals.’”

His current record is six wins and 11 losses, but many of those fights have been against boxers in a different weight category.

“I haven’t won for a while now because of that,” Jarid said.

Due to a lack of boxers in his own weight category, he has been fighting against older and heavier boxers.

“We rather see him compete and he doesn’t mind competing against the older guys,” Hattum said. “Those guys are eight to 10 pounds heavier than what he normally is, so he’s not afraid to take the challenge.”

Jarid described his boxing style as aggressive and fast-paced.

“It’s just fun to me, just a lot of adrenalin and everything about it,” he said about boxing. “It definitely gets a lot of energy out.”

Hattum said Jarid learns well and he has a good work ethic.

“He’s just like any other teen, he has his good days and his bad days,” he mentioned. “But all in all he listens really good. He talks quite a bit with me … so that’s one good thing. We have a really good relationship.”

As part of their preparation they have been working on Jarid’s boxing style. Hattum showed him to move around more and to keep his hands up.

“He’s really quick,” he said. “The only bad thing about Jarid is sometimes he wants to just stand there and trade with the guy. We’ve been working a lot on punching and moving, not just standing on that one spot.”

He said there is a lot of power behind those punches, something one would not expect from such a young boxer. It is something Hattum has experienced first hand.

“I can take good shots from a lot of guys,” he said. “I’ve never had anyone at the club drop me to my knees and Jarid’s the only one that has made me buckle my knees ever. The kid can hit.”

Jarid has a knockout under his belt, but he has never been dropped during a fight.

“He’s a tough kid,” Hattum said. “The closest was a guy gave him about eight to 10 clean liver shots and all he did was buckle his knees. ... I thought he was going down, but Jarid just kept taking it and kept going straight at him and throwing a few more punches.”

The Friendship Centre Boxing Club is currently raising funds for Jarid to go on a boxing trip to Wales in early April. Boxing Saskatchewan has invited him to be part of a group that will go on a return boxing trip to Wales after a team from that country came to Saskatchewan last year.

At the end of his interview with the Prairie Post, Jarid thanked his coach and his dad Brad for helping him with his boxing. But he reserved a special word of thanks to Earl Monkman, who died on Jan. 14 at the age of 65. He started the Swift Current Friendship Centre in 2004 with Carol Low.

“He was the reason I started boxing in the first place,” Jarid said about Monkman. “He told my dad to bring me down here, so if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t even be boxing.”

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