BRANTFORD – It has been the dream of Six Nations’ boxer Karl “the Razor” Hess, to be a professional Boxer since he first walked up the steps to Brantford’s Black-Eye Boxing Club and asked to meet with Jackie Armour in 2011.
Wednesday night that dream was made a reality with the signing of his Ontario Boxing Pro Card. At the same time, Hess was signed as a stable fighter for United Boxing Promotions who will handle promotions for Hess as he works his way through the pro ranks.
“It seems like only yesterday, but I guess it has been a while, recalls Armour. “I think it was 2011 when he first walked into the gym. I knew then he was a pro-athlete but he had to pick that as his main goal, and now, here it is.”
There was a brief hiccup in that space of time when Hess wondered himself if this is what he really wanted.
After two fights, he did well in both of them, Hess took a little time off.
“It’s hard to be a fighter,” says Armour. “You’ve got to be really dedicated to it 100 per cent and he just wasn’t there yet.”
When he walked in the door about a year, year and a half ago, I knew he was back to fight.
Since then, Armour and assistant coach Robbie Rutherford, have watched Hess mature into a solid professional fighter.
“It might sound a little crazy, but it’s his look. His build is intimidating in the ring,” says Armour. “As his trainer, I know how hard he hits. Sometimes I go home with sore ribs after working out with him.”
Turning pro is a big step. Even as a novice pro, the training regimen becomes a daily thing both at the gym and on his own, in the ring or on the road, but “Razor” says he is ready.
“Yes, I think I am ready and I can’t wait,” said Hess.
He says he has always felt somewhat encumbered wearing the headgear required in amateur, so he is looking forward to not having to deal with that distraction.
“That works better for me,” he says. “It won’t block my peripheral vision.”
He will also be boxing with lighter gloves, which he is looking forward to as well.
“I can use my power better with the smaller gloves,” says Hess.” The smaller gloves will also help my hand-speed.”
Buxton’s United Boxing Promotions has been scouting Hess is his progress for some time now.
“It’s his power,” Buxton told TRT. “That’s what has attracted us to Karl. And he’s strong. When it comes to power, you can’t teach that. You can teach technique, you can teach defence, but natural power in both hands, you either have it or you don’t and Karl has it. As a promoter if you have someone knocking people out, that is a good thing.”
United did not hurry Hess’ development along but left the timing up to Armour as to when he felt Hess was ready physically and mentally to take the step.
“When Jackie called and said he was really, I knew he would be,” said Buxton.
“The cool part for me is that I won’t be as involved in finding him fights, that’s what United is going to be doing,” says Armour.
Assistant coach, Bob “Robbie” Rutherford, is just as excited about his Six Nations fighter as Armour.
“I’m really proud of Karl,” he says. “How he works so hard when he comes out to the gym, and he is a great inspiration to the other club members as well.”
Black-Eye Boxing has a membership of around 80-100 of all ages and abilities.
“Moving forward we want Karl to look great,” says a very proud Armour.
March 17th, Karl “the Razor” Hess will be fighting on a United Boxing card at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga in his professional debut. His opponent has not been selected to date, according to Tyler Buxton.
Karl’s contract is a five-year term with a minimum of two fights guaranteed per year, but the plan is for four to six fights per year, according to Buxton.
Although Hess is not the clubs first or only pro, he is the first “signed” professional boxer.
Karl is 24, welterweight, is marketable and seems to have the whole package any fight promoter would want.