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Friday, May. 24, 2019
Huard ready to stake his claim in Edmonton
by Randy Pascal

Having already made a name for himself on the local boxing scene, 16 year-old Valley East Boxing Club sensation Brett Huard is hoping to expand his stage this weekend.

Huard has become the first local male fighter in at least a handful of years to qualify for nationals, competing this weekend at the 2018 Boxing Canada Super Channel Championships in Edmonton, Alberta.

"I know that I'm going to be the underdog in this, but I want to compete and prove that I really deserve to be at a national level, show that I can compete there," said Huard a little over a week ago, putting the finishing touches on his training for the biggest event of his life.

"Everyone may not see what you're really made of yet, and you have that chance to prove to them that you can really go up there and come out with a win." His ascension to the national stage marks the latest step in a very rapid progression for the son of Gary and Jennifer Huard, a one time hockey talent who first stepped into the ring in early 2016.

"I think I have a really good work ethic," noted Huard. "I like it so much. I try and pay attention to every little thing I can and try and work my hardest and get better all the time."

According to VEBC coach Peter Yannacoureas, that has certainly been the case, referring to Huard as a "special" talent. In many ways, Brett Huard has only started to scratch the surface of his developmental potential. Twice in the past month or so, he has travelled to Toronto to enjoy a little additional training with fellow members of Team Ontario.

"It's good, in a way, because down there, everyone's got a different style," explained the 64kg light welter-weight, competing in the Youth classification. "A lot of them are higher levels, it helps make me better, sparring with them. I'll be better prepared when I go to nationals."

With every passing month, Huard adds to his arsenal. Expanding the depth of his knowledge of the tricks of the trade will be key if the talented teen is to enjoy some longevity in the sport.

"I am working on different skills that I haven't really had the time to polish up yet," he said. "Like doing the Russian switch – you start off in your normal stance, and then you do a combination that switches you to a southpaw. It's not that common here, but in Cuba and places like that, you see it a lot more."

Apparently, the VEBC product may have a couple of changes to contend with in his first appearance at the Canadian Championships. With coach Yannacoureas unable to attend the event with him, Huard was not 100% sure of who might be in his corner when he first steps into the ring in Edmonton.

Not that he was terribly concerned. "It's probably going to be a little bit tricky, but I know the stuff that my coaches have been telling me and I will focus on that," he said. "I should be fine if I remember those things."

At the end of the day, the first taste of nationals should be more about simply getting your feet wet at this level. "I'm excited just for the experience and watching other top fighters from around the country, picking up on things they do," said Huard.

"My next goal would be to win it, even if it's not this year. I just want to eventually win and become a Canadian champ." At this rate, that just might be possible sooner rather than later.

Brett Huard has served notice, right out of the gate. The Valley East native defeated Dylan Clark of British Columbia on a split decision, and now advances to duke it out with Nathan Bell of Manitoba in the semi-finals.

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