Alphonse Chabot

Alphonse Chabot

Chabot hooks ring honour

Lumby's Alphonse Chabot to be honoured at B.C. Amateur Golden Gloves Boxing Championships Saturday night.

Lumby’s Alphonse Chabot learned at a young age not to let a fight go to the judges.

Boxing as a teenager in an amateur tournament in Vancouver in the late 1950s, he was on the wrong side of a biased decision that went in favour of the hometown fighter.

“It was in the finals and he really beat the guy but the local judges gave it to the other guy,” said Chabot’s brother, Leo. “That delayed the fights for 20 minutes because everybody was throwing stuff in the ring.”

The unfair decision turned out to be a pivotal moment in Chabot’s career.

“He said ‘from now on, I’m going to make my own decisions; I’m going to knock them out,’” said Leo, who, as Chabot’s sparring partner, can attest to the power of his brother’s signature left hook.

“He had a very fast left hand and a strong right, but the left hook was the most powerful. I kept away from the left hook.”

Chabot, now 71, went on to box in more than 100 fights (including 11 as a professional), losing only three times, before a car accident in Prince George in 1966 cut his career short and left him disabled. He lived in a care home in Lumby for 34 years before moving to Vernon’s Gateby Place in 2006.

A member of the North Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame, Chabot will be honoured Saturday night at the B.C. Amateur Golden Gloves Championships at the Vernon Recreation Complex auditorium. Tony Stamboulieh, tournament organizer and head instructor at Vernon’s CounterPunch Boxing Club, will recognize Chabot’s accomplishments and present him with an award.

Stamboulieh will also recognize Chief Roger Adolph, another B.C. boxer who went on to fight professionally in England. Adolph is a member of the Fountain Band in Lillooet, and is coaching athletes at the Golden Gloves.

Training under Lumby’s Jimmy Jenkins, Chabot began boxing at age 12, capturing a Golden Gloves title in 1959 at age 16, followed by a pair of Canadian lightweight titles, one later that year in Toronto, and another in ‘61 in Drayton Valley, Alta.

Chabot was also tabbed to represent Canada at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, but elected to turn pro in 1963. Fighting out of San Jose, he complied a 10-1 professional record, winning nine bouts by knockout.

Before Chabot’s car accident, Ring Magazine had predicted he would one day become world lightweight champion.

Tickets for Golden Gloves are $10 and can be bought at Breakaway Fitness (220-2801 35th Avenue) and at The Bean Scene (2923 30th Avenue). Action begins 7 p.m. Saturday night, and 1 p.m. Sunday.