11-year-old Airdronian Alexander Lypchuk came away from last weekend's Silver Gloves Boxing Tournament that was hosted in Medicine Hat (January 14 and 15) with a gold medal after winning both of his fights.

Alex said that his coach had re-assured him before he stepped into the ring on Saturday, letting him know it was natural to have some pre-ring jitters. Despite the tough boxing match against his opponent and despite Alex being given an eight-count, which is a rule in boxing that requires the referee a count eight seconds once they have been knocked down by their opponent before the fight resumes, he came out swinging and won.

Alexander Lypchuk is seen in the corner, conferring with his coach during a match of Saturday at the Silver Gloves Boxing Tournament in Medicine Hat. Alexander Lypchuk is seen in the corner, conferring with his coach during a match on Saturday at the Silver Gloves Boxing Tournament in Medicine Hat. (Photo provided by Elisha O'Doherty-Lypchuk)

His match on Sunday proved to be much easier for the young man.

"Sunday's fight was a lot different; he was a bit shorter than me, but that somehow made a more challenging," Alex said. "I'm not an insider most of the time. I go in when I want to, but he was trying to push in, throwing hooks and uppercuts. So, I was mostly just trying to hit him in the face in the body with all I had."

Both his fights were decided to be victories unanimously by the referees, but his achievements did not stop after the weekend concluded. On Monday, January 16, he was also presented with a plague from his coach for being the best Junior A boxer of the weekend. 

"I was just so surprised than I was. I was astonished," Alex said, still a bit in awe of his own achievements.

With this weekend being a massive success for the young Airdrie boxer, Alex hopes that someday he will be able to participate in open tournaments, which allow boxers to compete against one another regardless of skill and they are only matched by their weight. Alex also had some words of encouragement and wisdom for kids who are thinking of putting on the gloves.

"It's not that scary if you work hard enough and train a lot and then if you still think it's scary, then maybe try some sparring," Alex advised.

Of course, like any young athlete, Alex has his idols. He said that American Javonn Davis AKA the Tank comes in as a close second favourite of his.

"He's virtually just like me, except he doesn't get trained by awesome coaches. He gets trained by Floyd Mayweather. My all-time favourite boxer is Ryan Garcia."

Elisha O'Doherty-Lypchuk, Alex's mom, said she focused on taking photos of her son's boxing debut, just to settle her nerves.

"There were definitely tears of joy. It's nice seeing all the hard work pay off and especially for Alex," she said. "It just goes to show going forward, if you put in the work, and you put in the effort, great things do happen. Do I think in the future he might lose a match? Well, maybe, but we'll get there when the time comes."

When Alex isn't in the ring, he is on the court of his school's basketball team. But when Alex was asked what his absolute favourite thing is about boxing, he couldn't deny that the people at the gym where he trains stand out the most. 

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