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Niagara Falls
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Editorial: Fighting to represent Canada
Mckenzie Wright won a bronze medal in boxing at the Pan Am Games in Chile last fall. Santiago 2023 photo

It was perhaps fitting that Niagara-on-the-Lake boxer Mckenzie Wright’s latest ring battle occurred on International Women’s Day.

Fighting in the 50-kilogram weight class, the diminutive 33-year-old Niagara College nursing grad is pound-for-pound one of the toughest, grittiest people we’ve ever encountered, male or female.

As a Canadian champion multiple times, Wright has travelled the world — often at her own expense — to literally fight for her country. And she’s done us all proud.

Her goal is to represent Canada at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games this summer and she continues to come oh-so-close to making that dream a reality.

Last Friday, in her latest bid to make the grade for Paris, Wright was edged out by Aira Villegas of the Philippines by the slimmest of margins at an Olympic qualifying tournament in Italy.

She lost by a single point in a match that turned on the decision of one judge whose assessment of the fight was not in Canadian’s favour.

Villegas went on to handily win the division and punch her own ticket for Paris.

It was a tough bout, “a war,” as Wright told The Lake Report. And one we feel she deserved to win.

We only can imagine what the overall outcome of the tournament would have been if the judging panel had ruled in favour of the Canadian champ.

She won two of the three rounds, but lost the fight. It seems unfair and illogical, but sometimes that’s the reality of a judged sport.

Wright is not letting that deter her, as she prepares for one more chance to qualify for Paris.

In May, she will travel to Bangkok, Thailand, to train and compete in yet another tournament.

As Wright herself pointed out, “Once again I am proving I belong at the highest level of boxing in the world.” That’s not a humble brag; it’s the truth.

She’s worked for years to get to this point and deserves the support and well wishes of us all as she heads to the other side of the world to fight for Canada. And herself.

Meanwhile, she won’t be resting on her laurels. Later this week she expects to be back at City Boxing Club in Niagara Falls, preparing to make her Olympic dream a reality.

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