By Ian S Palmer
The brutal weather conditions couldn’t stop boxing fans from coming out in numbers to rub shoulders with Canadian boxing legends Fitz ‘The Whip Vanderpool’ and former heavyweight contender George Chuvalo at the grand opening of Vanderpool Fitness and Boxing. MP Stephen Woodworth brought greetings from Parliament and told the fans in attendance what a great asset Vanderpool and The Whip Boxing organization is to the community of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.
Fans were able to mingle with the Canadian boxing icons and community activists while enjoying cake and celebrating the occasion. However, some big news was also announced a little later in the evening when the 46-year-old Vanderpool said that he was retiring from professional boxing for good after having successfully achieving his goal of winning the Canadian title in his 40’s.
Vanderpool won the National Boxing Authority Canadian Middleweight Championship at the age of 45 in Moncton, New Brunswick in 2013 via a unanimous decision over Roberto McLellan. With the win Vanderpool became the oldest Canadian champion in boxing history. Chuvalo managed to regain the Canadian title back in 1978 when he was 43. Vanderpool attributes the fact that he stepped back into the ring to beat a talented fighter 15 years younger than him, to his hard work, discipline and hope.
Having won six professional championship belts and a World Championship, Vanderpool is ready to take his life in a new direction and dedicate his boundless energy and enthusiasm to helping his students and clients achieve their personal goals. The ex-champ, said he enjoys training people of all ages and from all walks of life. He firmly believes that the discipline and focus that he promotes as part of his carefully tailored training regimes can have a positive impact on people’s lives outside of the ring.
He stated that whether he is working with an eight-year-old old who needs to improve their confidence and self-belief, or a 58-year-old executive who wants to feel and look 10 years younger, his message is always the same, which is with hope it’s possible. In addition to training the next generation of boxing champions, and continuing to grow his personal training business, Vanderpool plans to step up his activities in community outreach, conducting motivational speaking engagements at schools and local businesses.
Vanderpool is already an active member of his community and is also working towards creating a foundation to work with youth to teach and inspire them. He stated that he wants to help today’s youth understand that with hard work and determination, it is possible to beat the odds and become a champion, both inside and outside of the ring.
During his pro career, which began in 1993, Vanderpool won the Canadian Welterweight title; the World Boxing Federation Intercontinental Welterweight title; the World Boxing Council Welterweight FECARBOX title; the World Boxing Federation World Light Middleweight title; and the World Boxing Council Light Middleweight FECARBOX title. He also fought for the WBA Fedecentro and WBC International Light Middleweight titles.
Vanderpool took on the likes of Bryon Mackie, Stephan Johnson, Charles Murray, Tony Badea, Ray Oliveira, Fernando Vargas and Marco Antonio Rubio during his career and retires with a record of 26-8-4 with 13 Kos. He was inducted into the Waterloo County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.