Fitzroy Vanderpool | The Scoop with Bola Ray | Talkin Fight
Watch The Scoop, and on this episode is great boxer Fitzroy Venderpool, from Monday to Friday featuring Canadian heavyweight champ Bola Ray, who lends his vast experience in the sport and provides his comments boxing – its history and future – on YouTube and TalkinFight.com/live.
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Hello, there welcome once again to talk and fight and the scoop on talk and fight.
I hope you’re having a great evening.
We certainly are.
It’S certainly been an interesting one.
For a start, i don’t think we’ve never had uh that many people join us at once.
Uh, so we had to sort out a little bit of an issue there, but we’re glad that our guest now is uh waiting in the green room, comfortably and they’re waiting to join us and uh.
As soon as he does join us, i will have to bid at you uh.
I have to jump on to another important phone call, sir sorry to let you go, but you guys can handle it on your own.
I’M sure so once again welcome to talking fight nation, welcome to the scoop and uh, let’s go champ.
What do you got so we got quite the character today, he’s um to me.
I always saw him as a big brother in the sense that uh when i first started when i first walked into the gym um to a gym.
He was there.
He was one of the iconic guys in the gym.
He is a former national team champion former canadian champion um, one of the oldest canadian champions.
Uh also also actually won a world title um good day.
My name is bala raymond olubuwali.
This is a scoop.
So today i am pleased to bring on board my good friend fitz, the whip of vanderpool, how you doing my man i’m doing great ray thanks for having me on your show.
You know this is an honor man.
No, it’s the end was ours.
Man, i’m doing a week on great coaches and great athletes.
It’S a no-brainer! You had to be involved, [ Laughter, ].
All right! That’S awesome! That’S awesome, quick, a little intro into the world of fits.
How did you get started into into boxing? Well actually, my my father started meeting my brothers in the boxing.
I got four other brothers and we all boxed, but my father got to start in the boxing because my oldest brother was a skinny guy was getting picked on at school.
So you know my father, my my pop said.
You know i’m gon na get you in the boxes to learn how to defend yourself.
So we ended up going down to the waterloo police, uh boxing academy and the sergeant there was running the boxing program, a sergeant figured out just like muhammad ali yeah.
I was talking about him too, so you know we started learning how to box there, and you know just uh just kept going on from there.
You know man, you guys uh.
I am doing a future show on boxing families and um.
What made them great – and i assume that there’s been other boxing families out there, but there’s some boxing families that just seem to achieve greatness like there’s just great deal of success within the family and like the vanderpools, are definitely one of them.
We’Ve we’ve spoken to fitz, i want to find the one, they call uh felix um and then he got you so now with that he told he talked to us.
He uh told us quite a bit, but with that being said, you could tell us how was it growing up being in a boxing family every weekend going out training competing together the whole nine yards of camaraderie? Did it make you better having your younger brother ian or your older brother uh keith training? Alongside of you yeah, you know what it you know for each individual uh situation is how you look at it right, but for myself i always want to push myself to be better than the next person and then also after when i got to that point.
I had to push myself to be better the best i could be so you know having your brothers around you yeah was great because you always wanted to work them work harder than them.
Outwork them i’ll perform them, don’t shine them it! It’S competition right.
So you just want to be the best you can be when it’s when you say the competition, like you guys, aren’t that far apart in age, would you spar? Would you i don’t think you guys were to compete against each other? Would you have sparred we? We did spar and actually at one point, sid and i were both the same weight uh.
When we came back in 1991.
We were both the same weight.
Oh well, so we had to decide who was going to go up.
Who was going to stay down and because he was young and growing? I just let him go up weight class, okay, yeah right! It was really natural because i was already at this weight.
I was at the same weight for like last four or five years yeah and he grew without weight, and then we just said only makes sense.
He just keeps going up, go to the next weight class right and that’s how it happened.
Fair enough, you turned pro before the 94 olympic uh commonwealth games yeah.
Why well i went.
I was trying for the 1992 olympics in barcelona, spain yeah and i came up short of that i mean i i lost to the champion, uh mark leduc and um.
I actually won the first fight for the olympic trials.
I won the first fight and then they said i had to beat the champion.
I had to be the challenger twice.
I was the only champion to be the challenger, so i mean i had to fight the next day, so i fought the second day and they gave mark the fight uh because you know they’ve been grooming him for the last four years on the national team.
He’D been traveling all over the world representing canada, and also you got this.
Kid comes out of nowhere and beats him right.
So they’re like well we’re not going to send this kid.
He hasn’t been groomed for the last four years, so anyways mark won the second fight he went on to the olympics, um.
He ended up winning a silver medal.
He won a silver medal for canada and i was wow.
You know and it’s interesting because the media came back and they said to me this: it fits you know.
How do you feel about mark winning a silver medal for canada, and i said well, you know what if canada is happy with the silver medal, i’m happy for canada – and i said you know what it’s time for me to step out of here and go into The pros and uh you know fight for what i got to fight for good for you good for you and was the transition from pros uh from amateurs to pro difficult for you for myself.
It wasn’t i mean, because you know we went from four rounds in increments of two to six rounds to eight rounds to ten rounds.
Uh myself, i was always in great shape.
I was always out for the challenge, so it wasn’t.
It wasn’t uh that difficult.
I think, for me i mean when i got to you, know to 10 rounds.
You know i fought for a title.
Fight at 10 rounds started fighting for tiles at 12 rounds.
You know what, when i, when i came halfway through the fight like the round six, i knew where i had to pace myself, how to do things to keep the run going so i’d win the round, but still make sure i had enough energy to go on For the other half of the fight and – and i trained in such a way that i was able to condition myself – that i knew when i got the sixth round round – seven eight and then pick it up nine ten, eleven finish strong for round twelve right.
That’S where you know they say the championship rounds.
The championship rounds around is eleven and twelve.
That’S what champions have made, because most guys will be fading out.
You know because they’re getting tired, there’s 10 in them rounds right, they’re, getting tired, but a champion knows that.
That’S where he’s got to drive and he’s got to push himself through to give everything if he wants what he calls a championship belt.
That’S amazing! I was there the first time you won the canadian title, yes um and we were training together at that time.
It was our bill, longminer’s gym, i was gon na say i remember you down there.
I seen a big guy down over the base on the basement.
There yeah amazing, that’s that’s where i started so i remember.
I remember that fun because i i genuinely loved bill like he was a great man he’s a great one.
How did your? How did your world change after after winning that first canadian title well um it changed in terms of why i mean it didn’t you know, changed any new financial way, but what it did change was it changed my my attitude and the way i worked towards getting Things done because i was at a point where i was fighting a guy who was uh, you know 13 and over 10 knockouts.
He was knocking everybody out, and here i am just getting knocked out of the fight before getting offered to fight him, and i know they were setting me up.
They wanted me to get knockout, that’s what they wanted, but i flipped that script whoops huh whoops yep.
I flipped that script.
I said you know i trained so hard and uh.
I knew that nothing.
I was not going to lose that fight who’s, that game yeah.
Who was that against? That was against uh, tony tony, the bad boy badea from edmonton and uh yeah.
You know i worked hard for that fight in the first round.
It showed what i was made of because he caught me with a left hook in the first round like this, i could punch with both hands.
He had power in both hands.
He comes with a left hook.
Clicked me boom, i went flying back into the ropes.
Came bounce now referee stepped and give me an account and i’m praying the whole time.
I said lord, you got ta.
Let me win this fight.
I got ta come back and and win this fight because i told everybody back home in kishner that i was gon na bring this belt back and it was gon na be the first belt ever brought back to the tri-city, and i said you know what i Told people that i said i got ta do what i said.
That’S all so i promised him that so i i came back out.
I fought on fought on third round fourth round.
Finally, in the sixth round i come with the whip.
Kinda whip went flying back.
I jumped on one wow, you had him up against the ropes he’s out all one mess hands down boom referee steph didn’t stop the fight savings for getting any more punishment and uh yeah.
You know i won the fight man i was like i was excited.
I was like you know what i believed in myself, so much that i willed it.
I i remember you sparring with uh peter fear.
I was just gon na say yeah ready for that wow as a heavyweight and granted.
I was green as hell, but i remember looking going yeah, that’s gon na hurt that that’s good, that’s got ta hurt.
That’S got hurt a lot wicked shots.
That was awesome.
That was awesome.
Your career went on and you then made the choice to retire for whatever reason, but it wasn’t to be forever.
You end up coming back and you had the most beautiful corner man of all time.
The most it was.
It was poetry to see the two together.
You and um that who was that corner man who, who uh big ray? Oh right, exactly you know, hey, you know, you know things have a way of working themselves out it was.
It was just you know what yeah you were in my corner for that fight.
You know my guys help me in the corner and uh.
I didn’t want to make you work too hard that fight.
You know, you know what i didn’t really work too hard.
So much um.
That was a great night for boxing.
Um, that was my second time in it’s my second of two times in the corner um as a head coach, and i got two wins, so it was a great night and work for call.
You fought a game, a strong, a capable phil rose.
That’S that was no joke and won.
That was that was no joke.
Well, after coming back from how many years off you know, i came out from over six years off how old were you uh wow? I was 42 44.
, no you’re older than that.
When i came up and won it because because he was 15 years younger than me, okay, so this was in i don’t know – 2015 15 yeah.
No, no! It was uh.
It was 2 13.
because when i won the title in in 214 i was 45.
I became the oldest canadian champion of 45 succeeding george chavallo, but you were but what year was that that was in 2014, you were the oldest yeah in 2014, so you were no you’re in 2014.
Wouldn’T you be weren’t you born in 67.
I certainly was now you got me, there’s a map.
What are you trying to do to me? Then you need to do the math.
That puts you 46.
My bad 2014 actually puts you at 47.
See that’s why i look so young, oh snap, one more that i’m older than i thought.
I’M sorry! I don’t know man, i don’t know.
Okay, it’s just a number man.
It’S just a number that that’s the goodness truth.
That’S an honest goodness truth, but it was a great way to boxing.
It was a great night um uh history, canadian history, for that matter, um you coming back, especially when you end up coming back and winning the canadian title um.
Now, with that being said, um you finally packed it in for good.
But you haven’t left boxing, thank god and you are giving back to [ Music ], the community up in waterloo there, um or kitchener kitchen kitchen water, yeah, um, giving back to the community bringing up the next generation of uh of uh warriors and i’d like to Think that you are proliferating, the legacy of arnie beam, uh yeah, yeah yeah, the legacy of arnie beam uh, my coach uh joe hashno, who took me through all these professional championship belts.
You know what i mean uh, you know i have the both of them.
In my gym uh, they bought their pictures up in the gym, so the my young fighters get to see these two guys know why i do what i do and what i’ve learned um.
You know, and i’ve learned i mean from boxing it’s more than just more than just fighting in the ring.
You know it taught me life lessons life skills, and these are what i try to teach back to my younger students.
You know they come in the gym.
Everybody says you know they want to be a boxing champion.
I’M, like you know, that’s great.
I said you know what, if you don’t become a boxing champion, that’s fine by me, but i want to make sure i teach you life lessons and life skills things that you will carry with you all the days of your life.
That’S amazing! Well, after boxing using you’re using boxing as a vessel to educate the kids, that’s it that’s all! That’S that’s and that’s impressive! That’S impressive! You have um how? How long has your gym been around i’ve been 18 years? Actually, you know we just we just hit uh yeah 18 years so to that yep to the hey, you’re, pretty good at math.
I i i i i got my socks off, so i use my toes to count quickly, yeah good, for you good for you good for you now but hold on a sec.
I i think you just gave me the wrong number.
If i, if i said correct, i just let you go with it, i let it go huh.
I gave you a bye.
You said 001 yeah, i said 18 years.
This is 2021.
If it was 2003 would be 18 years thousand, pardons you’re, absolutely right, you’re! Absolutely right, yeah, so good, it’s all good, we’re even waving our producer is like.
I was just about to say something: everybody’s waiting, just waiting for me to to to mess up.
Oh, so they could jump on that gravy train and say i told you so yeah where’d he go where’d my face.
Go no! No you’re you’re! Still there you’re still there.
Oh you see me, okay.
I can’t i can’t, but that’s okay! That’S all right! That’S all good! You have um you do you train fighters.
You have up-and-coming champions coming up.
Well because of this corvette, it’s made things difficult right, so you know i’m waiting, but i’ve got.
I’Ve got some prospects right now that are that are in the wings waiting until we can start working again right so once we once we can do that and get to that once we do that.
Get that point.
You know we’ll be good, you know.
So i i i really want this corvette to stop.
So we can, you know, get back to doing what we got ta.
Do we need normalcy, we have to get back to normalcy.
I totally agree some some sort of normalcy right, some sort, some sort yeah, because uh yeah, this madness has has impacted society in ways that you just can’t even be.
I never thought that depression would be on the rise.
Yeah right people need people need social interactions and stuff like that, like at the end of the day this this has to stop.
Absolutely we have how many belts do you have um one two, three four, let me hold on.
Let me take off my socks here.
One sec: six: what were they? You got the canadian title twice: well, okay, so yeah.
So i got the canadian and the world boxing federation, intercontinental war, boxing council, caribbean uh, world boxing federation, world championship world boxing council feckerbox championship and then is that five or four six and then the um national boxing authority, canadian title without six right, yeah.
Well, the wbc you got you did you win the wbc world yeah? No, so no! I have the wbc factor box and the wbc caribbean.
What was your world title? Wbf world boxing federation got you, god you got you those that that’s a big title, because george foreman had that title yeah, i think george had it roy jones had it and actually one of the guys that roy jones fought is the guy that i beat for That title and he actually ended up going into a coma and passing away.
Unfortunately, but oh yeah, that was tough, because because when i won, i knocked him on the 11th round and then they ended up carrying him off in a host to the hospital in a stretcher, and he was supposed to have a suspension for like uh.
You know 90 days and he went back into the ring 30 days later and fought again easy fight.
They fought again a second fight, uh a little later uh for a title and he got knocked into a coma again in the 11th round and or he got not knocked out again in 11th round, went to coleman passed away.
Well, so yeah, it’s this! This sport.
We live in is, is a tough one.
It’S dangerous! It’S only like there’s things that could have been done to save him.
I did throw on that in the past at the end of the day, so much needs to happen.
Um to make the sport not just safer, but better just better.
That was my my my next question.
How would you like to see both now, both amateur and professional uh, the sport of boxing, improve? How would i like to see it improve yeah? Well, i mean i would it would be good if you know that we can get more better funding for the athletes uh to help them train to get ready for these big uh competitions.
So we can fare better against the uh in the olympics.
You know it’d be better if we had better funding from the government uh for the sport of boxing to help our athletes to get better prepared to uh compete at the national international levels.
Okay, that has been a common um statement.
I’Ve asked several people, the exact thing and that’s funding is necessary and it’s unfortunate because other countries they fund their athletes like um.
Well, i can’t speak from the standpoint of boxing, but i remember a stat um, where australia, australia was paying their swimmers.
This is when we had one of the top swimmers in the world, but the 10th ranked swimmer was making more than our number one world champion right funding.
Also, like i grant i’m going back a ways we’re talking um.
I think it was the 96.
I think it was a 96 olympics um when yeah, because i was in track and field at the time and uh craig chan we had in the summer olympic games, we had amassed the most medals we had ever amassed and kreshan said.
Well, you see this is an example of our of the government’s uh commitment to the excellence of our athletes via funding like no, it’s not no, it’s not because at the end of the day you win a gold medal.
Then it was fifteen thousand dollars in your pocket.
Silver was ten, bronze was five.
You might tell me how long would fifteen thousand dollars – and this is a gold medal yeah? How long would that last for your preparation to anything yeah right, a lot needs to be done.
A lot needs to be done.
I mean that’s ridic i mean, because you know other countries will be giving you houses and setting you up precisely.
It takes years precisely you’re supposed like you need to be able to concentrate on your training as opposed to working a side game.
This is my.
This is my big issue when it came to uh the professionals um as a pro um for most of my career.
I had to work right work while fighting so then am i really a pro yeah, because at the end of the day, nba players aren’t working inside gig.
Nfl players aren’t working on sidekick baseball hockey.
So why are professional boxers going off and having to work a side gig to stay afloat, waiting for fights to happen? Yeah? No, it’s uh! Oh it’s! It’S! You know it’s not as easy as people think it is.
You know they don’t realize that you know there are many of us who don’t have managers promoters financial backing.
We have to do all this stuff ourselves and uh.
You know for me.
I was just glad that i was glad to make it to the promised land.
Having had to do by myself – and i just you know – i i’m going to continue to pass on to other young ones coming up, they can do it too and i’ll.
Let them know how it can be done.
That’S amazing, fitz! I want to thank you so much for coming on and uh dropping some knowledge uh.
What’S the name of your school, it’s the whip, boxing and fitness.
I want to thank you for coming on um.
At the end of the day, this was uh.
This is your boy, and this was the scoop.
If you liked this episode, please smash the like button and subscribe i’ll see you guys tomorrow fits thanks again.
Thanks, love, ray appreciate, man cheers stay safe,