Cornwall Ontario — Tony Luis is a twenty-five year old pro junior welterweight boxer from Cornwall Ontario. He won the WBC Continental Americas title, and has had boxing matches aired on television including ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights. Since the first time he threw on the gloves, Tony’s father has always been a huge influence on his career. “It means everything to know I have my father as my manager and trainer. In a sport like this it is important that you can trust the people you have around you in every aspect of the game. Who better than your father to look out for your best interests.”.
Tony Luis answers five question for The Seeker. This interview was conducted by Jason Setnyk.
1. What did winning the WBC Continental Americas title mean to you? I think the perception is winning a championship is the most important thing for an athlete. Is winning a championship the most important thing for you as a boxer, or is something else even more important?
That title win was a great night. It happened in Montreal on a night where many locals from town, family and friends included, got to be there. It opened up many doors. Cracked me into the international rankings, it lead to my new American contract which lead to more chances to fight on television. A championship belt is every fighter’s dream. However, I think what is even more important is what you do after you win, and how you respond to adversity or failure and bounce back.
2. What is the difference between boxing in Montreal versus a televised event in the United States? Can it be distracting knowing many more people are watching your match? How do you stay focused on the fight at hand?
Some of my fights have been televised nationally and internationally in Montreal but fighting out of Montreal, and further away from your local scene, your comfort zone can be added pressure. However, fighting on television is exciting just knowing your finally knocking on the door to potential stardom, and that some of your fans are still watching from home and cheering you on, you sort of hold onto that vision inside your head. Staying focused on the fight itself is easy once the first few punches are thrown and landed. Autopilot kicks in and you just forget of what is around you.
3. Every boxer faces a defeat at some point in their career. What can a boxer learn from losing a match? Can you give the readers some insight of the psychology behind losing a match, and then getting back on the winning track.
A loss brings you back to the basics. It forces you to take a good look at yourself as an athlete and reflect back on your past and question your desire, your confidence, finding yourself as an athlete again. You ask and answer lots of questions to yourself. What brought me to this level? What made me so effective? What did I get away from?
4. Which athletes inspired you growing up, and did you ever have a chance to meet one of them? Now that you are a pro, and there are kids who look up to you, how does it feel, and what does that mean to you?
Muhammad Ali for his flamboyant style in and out of the ring and what he stood for. Sugar Ray Leonard and Roy Jones for their unique styles and attributes and I’m proud to say I’ve gotten to meet them both at various boxing events and it was a great experience with each of them. When I hear a parent say that their kid looks up to me, or is doing a school presentation, etc it is humbling. Sometimes I just don’t get it because you always look at yourself different than others do. But I’m blessed to be in a position where I can motivate some youth and show them that anything is possible regardless of where you come from or what others think if you have the talent and most importantly the drive to succeed.
5. What was it like participating in a WWE wrestling event. How did that come about, and what did that experience mean to you? What are your thoughts on ‘pro wrestling’ entertainment?
I have always been a huge wrestling fan as a kid. From a Hulkamaniac right through to the “attitude” era of pro wrestling. So the chance to participate in a WWE event was one of my personal favourite moments for me that boxing has opened a door for. It was like a childhood fantasy come to life (laughing) and I love the entertainment aspect behind it. The chance came about from Councillor David Murphy who inquired with organizers who were hosting the event in Cornwall. We went through the proper channels and the WWE people thought it was a great proposal to add some local flare to the house show and went along with the idea. I enjoyed meeting all the superstars backstage and seeing and being a part of the work that goes behind their shows, the rehearsing and getting into character. It was a unique experience and one I would love to do again! It is much more fun pretending to fight and still getting the applause from a crowd (laughing)!
Thank you Tony Luis. Kudos on your accomplishments, and The Seeker would like to wish you the best of future success!