BRANTFORD – The dream of a Six Nation boxer is about to come true. Carl “The Razor” Hess is turning pro. The announcement was made last Wednesday at his home gym, the Black Eye Boxing Club in Brantford.
Surrounded by fellow club members, his trainers and family, Hess stood by his coach as Jackie Armor made the announcement.
“We are turning Carl Hess pro in the new year,” he said. “I don’t know exactly when his first pro bout will be but probably January or February.”
Fighting under the Black Eye banner, Hess has a 13-2 amateur record to date but he will be fighting as an amateur at least twice before the news year.
“He’s done a heck of a job as an amateur for us, but the card in August will probably be the last time he will be fighting in Brantford,” said Armor.
Hess will be the main event on a fight card set for August 26, at the Brantford Curling Club, promoted by the Black Eye Boxing Club. Carl’s cousin, Paul Longboat, also from Six Nations, will be making his amateur debut as well. To date there are seven confirmed fights but that number could go up.
“I think I am ready to turn pro,” said Hess. “I’m confident, maybe a little nervous. I feel it will be better for me. I liked amateur, but I think I am more suited to this.”
Armor points out that Hess has always had an issue fighting with the mandatory headgear, but in pro, he won’t have to deal with that distraction.
Armor, and corner-men Rob Rutherford, Andrew Armor will be selecting The Razor’s remaining amateur fights very carefully to get Carl ready for pro.
His August 26th outing will be a thriller. The last time Hess fought in Brantford, he went up against a 15-0 Toronto fighter, Jeffery Roland, and delivered Roland his first defeat with a knock out in the second round.
The next day Roland’s handlers called Armor and asked for another shot at Hess, which was granted. That rematch will be the Main Event on the August card.
Armor and Hess agree that this time they have seen the guy before and will be much more active in the early going.
“The first time, I think we held back some in the first round to see what he’s got,” said Hess.
Going pro is a decision, which requires more dedication to training, more ring discipline, and harder hitting opponents.
“It’s about footwork and defense so you can stay away from those punches,” says Hess. He is not worried about his offensive power up against professionals.
“Naturally, I like to fight up close, but I’ve been working on actually boxing,” says Hess. “Be evasive, ya know, but I think I’m good either way.”
There is a lot of putting out financially before you start bringing it in when turning pro. Travel, food and lodging even for sparing partners, physicals, other formalities, which can also run into added cost.
Hess Boxing and Black Eye Boxing Club are putting out feelers for corporate sponsors as well as doing grass roots fund raising in advance to be ready to join fellow club member, Winston Matthews who turned pro in 2016.
“It’s been a dream of mine to run a pro event in Brantford and have my two pros on the card,” says Armor.
But it’s not that easy in Ontario. Boxing Ontario is a two-edged sword. On one hand, they are very particular about matching fighters of equal skill and experience. That is a good thing for young fighters who would otherwise be gobbled up by up and coming fighters wanting to increase their records by taking on inexperienced boxers.
However, they are also very restricting when it comes to sanctioning pro fights in Ontario. Recently, Canadian boxing legend George Chevalo, told TRT that Boxing Ontario could grow the boxing game easily by allowing more pro fights in Ontario.
In the meantime, Armor will have to put his pro fighters on already sanctioned events out of town, but he has not given up hope to promote a pro card in Brantford sometime.
Tickets are already on sale for fight night August 27 from Hess family members, Black Eye Boxing Club members or from Jackie Armor.
“I love Six Nations fans,” says Armor. “Last time his mom sold 100 tickets herself, and there was a great atmosphere.”