Many years ago, when The Seeker began and was still a black and white publication, Julia and I appeared on the cover with a young man, holding a large belt which he had just won. That young man was Tony Luis.
A young man who I watched grow up from a kid in Elementary school where he was friends with my oldest son Kristian, (seen with Tony in the photo taken many years ago at Champs Eastside Boxing) to a successful boxer, father and last year, after 24 years at the age of 34, Tony announced his retirement from the ring, stating that “I’ve given my mind, body and soul to this sport and I will not let the sport retire me – I will retire from the sport”.
As we stood on the steps of the Cornwall Civic Complex on Friday, August 12, 2022 listening to his words, I remember saying to myself, “Sure Tony, you’re retiring but for how long”?
Anyway, on May 29th, Tony once again held a press conference on the same steps at the Cornwall Civic Complex and I kind of figured out in advance, what this might be all about…
Let’s continue with The Seeker’s 5 Questions though and I’ll let Tony himself divulge the info of his new venture.
1. So for those who don’t know you, and I’m sure there aren’t too many, tell us a bit about yourself, especially how you got involved in the sport of boxing and at what age?
I’m a father of 3 with a beautiful, loving woman named Steffany. Steffany’s love is stronger than my left hook and sweeter than Sugar Ray.
I was a decade-long Youth Case worker and now work security at the Powerdam.
When I was 9 years old, I found old tapes of my father boxing and told myself, I could do this and was instantly hooked.
2. What are your major accomplishments (wins) and what are some of the highlights of your boxing career, including any big names that you may care to mention?
3-time Wbc Continental Americas Champion -WBA-North American Champion – Quebec Champion – World title challenger – 2012 World Boxing Council’s Goodwill Ambassador – 2012 Profiled by Yahoo Voices as a young fighter to look out for.
Signature wins: 3 undefeated fighters (Karl Dargan, Cam O’Connell and Wanzell Ellison). World-ranked contender Adrian Estrella. Appearances/victories on tv networks ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+, Showtime, Fight Network, RDS, TVA Sports, Sky Sports.
Also CBS Sports, along with one commentating appearance on CBS Sports. Since retirement, working as a color commentator for streaming app DAZN.
3. When you announced your retirement last year how did you feel? What caused you to make this decision and how have you been keeping yourself busy?
I had mixed emotions. Appreciating the experiences and time I had but recognizing it was now behind me. My body was telling me it was time. Recovery from the training the sport requires was beginning to take a toll and my desire was waning. I now have more quality time for my family. I still have my day job working Security at the dam. I lend a helping hand coaching youth at my gym, commentating fights for a promoter out of Toronto on DAZN, and occasionally moonlight as an amateur boxing referee/judge.
4. I know from some of your family members that they were quite relieved when you retired as they were concerned at what could happen if you ever took another punch to the head. So, when you just announced that you were going to hold a press conference, the first thing that I thought of was, “Oh no – Tony is going to announce that he is coming out of retirement … and I was pretty close … So what is your big announcement?
LOL.. I will be partaking in a boxing exhibition match on September 9 at the Agora Center vs lifelong friend and former boxer Joe Bowman. (Tony left and Joe right are seen in the photo credited to LoL Entertainment) Joe was a multi-time Ontario Golden Gloves champion, 2-time National champion and 1-0 as a pro.
5. Please tell us some details about this event that you are planning for this upcoming September 9th at The Agora Centre – Which I am happy to say that at this point in time it looks like I will be able to attend!
The event on September 9 will be a blend of comedy and boxing. Never before have you seen the two come together for one night. So, I’m happy I can be a part of this history-making event. We will have world class comics doing their stand-up in the ring and the show will culminate with Joe Bowman vs myself in a 3 round exhibition boxing match. Headgear and sparring gloves. A portion of the proceeds raised will be donated to “the little gym that could”, non-profit Champs Eastside Boxing Club. My home away from home. Tickets will go on sale July 1. Tickets will be available at Max’s Pawn Shop (500 Montreal Road) or online at www.LoLEntertainment.ca
Thank you so much Tony for taking this time to chat and I have to seriously say, when I heard that you and your friend Joe “Boom Boom” Bowman are both coming out of retirement to make a comeback in the “Chucklez N’ Knucklez” Exhibition Battle, my motherly instinct came out as after all, you are a friend of my oldest son Kristian and I tend to be protective of his friends when I see danger looming – but when we chatted about this earlier today, I felt more at ease when you said “This is going to be a fun, Charity exhibition with headgear and sparring gloves”. I also know of 2 Guardian Angels, your dear mother Maria and your friend Kristian Renaud, who will always be watching over you and keeping you safe. Thanks again, and please keep The Seeker updated as “Chucklez N’ Knucklez” your Fundraising event to help Champs Eastside Boxing gets closer
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