Mike Strange elected into Canadian Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame

Niagara Falls city councillor only Canadian boxer ever to appear in three Olympics. Pictured: Mike Strange and Mike Sommers. Photo Supplied

Mike Strange knew he would get emotional last Saturday night. 

Sure, the now 53-year-old Niagara Falls native and city councillor had been inducted into Boxing Hall of Fames before, but Saturday night was different. 

The three-time Canadian Olympian, and only boxer ever from this country to say that, was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame in Calgary.

“When I started boxing when I was ten, I was competing in boxing, and hockey and soccer, it wasn’t until I was 14 that I just concentrated on boxing, that was because I watched the ’84 Olympics which were in Los Angeles,” explained Strange. 

“Two of my idols growing up were Willy DeWitt and Sean O’Sullivan, and they won two silver medals for Canada, and I was just so proud of them,” said Strange. “I thought wow, I’d love to be like them and get to the Olympics. It was always a goal but more of dream, and would it ever hit reality I didn’t know, but it did. To be on the same list as them is unreal to me.”

The induction capped off an amateur career that saw Strange capture two Commonwealth Games gold medals and one Pan American Games bronze, but also started with many trials and tribulations in the ring.

“When I started boxing originally, I got a lot of runner-up trophies,” Strange explained with a chuckle. “That means I lost, but the trophies were good for show and tell in school.” 

It was actually a letter from the aforementioned Willy DeWitt, after a controversial loss, that kept Strange boxing.  

Fellow Canadian Olympian Gord Singleton was part of Strange’s acceptance speech. 

“I remember Gord Singleton, world champion cyclist, and good friend of mine telling me, and he’s a little bit older and wiser than me, and he said Mike just take it slow, keep grounded, because it just goes like that,” Strange said.

Strange shared Singleton’s words of wisdom with the boxers competing in the National Championships in Alberta.

And it wasn’t until he was on his way home from Calgary, just hours after making that speech, that Strange found out Singleton had passed away after a battle with prostate cancer. 

“Just so, so, sad,” added Strange. “He was such a great guy.”

Strange continues to coach the sweet science, as boxing is referred, and more importantly started ‘Box Run’ with runs across the country and around the world to raise money for Childhood Cancer. 

Strange also started the Heaters Hero’s charity event to raise funds and awareness of childhood cancers. The annual event is held each year at Oakes Park. 

Boxing referee Sonny Wong, who calls St. Catharines home and was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame in 2022, made the trip to Calgary with Strange. 

“Thank you to the community of Niagara for supporting me and helping me out, thank you to everyone for everything,” Strange said.  


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