But for six months he spent in the Jane & Finch community after migrating with his family from Jamaica, Brampton has been Dewith Frazer’s home since 1976.
Being inducted into Brampton Sports Hall of Fame last Tuesday was a proud moment for the Olympian-turned-coach.
“It’s an absolute honour to be recognized in this way,” said Frazer who represented Jamaica at the 1984 Olympics and had nearly 170 amateur fights before becoming a professional in 1986. “This is a city that not only embraces its sports personalities, but also sport as evidenced by the splendid multi-sport facilities that have been built in the last few years. They have made it easy for athletes. This honour also says that people have been watching what I have been doing over the years and it’s good to know that.”
When his professional career ended in 1989 after just 14 fights, Frazer turned to mentoring and coaching.
“I remember asking myself what I was going to do when I quit the sport and the only thing I could have thought of was doing something that was related to boxing,” said Frazer. “For me, boxing and jogging help release stress. When I workout and I sweat, I feel real good. I also know that hitting a punching bag instead of a person would not get you into trouble.”
With that in mind, Frazer established a boxing studio in Mississauga seven years ago. The enrolment of about 200 members includes 26 active pugilists.
Jhevani Dixon, Khol Adams and Melinda Watpool are some of the country’s top prospects.
Dixon has been shut down for the rest of the year after suffering a right shoulder injury at the last two national championships.
“He’s extremely gifted, but luck is not on his side,” said the coach.
As for Adams, Frazer believes he could go a long way in the sport if he follows instructions.
“Khol is talented but difficult to train because he has a hard time listening and doing things that are asked of him,” said Frazer. “When he overcomes that, he’s going to be a real good fighter.”
Watpool is in the same weight class with national middleweight champion, Mary Spencer, who represented Canada when women’s boxing made its Olympic debut in London in 2012 and Ariane Fortin, who won her first Canadian championship a decade ago.
“Melinda is in a weight class where Canada is very strong,” said Frazer. “She is also the least experienced of the three fighters.”
A married father of three young men, Frazer – who employs a staff of five – enjoys going to work.
“It’s not the champions that make me feel good,” he said. “It’s the kids who come with no confidence, expectations or support. They would leave a few years later and some of them would come back and thank me for taking the time to support them when they needed it the most. That means a lot to me.”
Frazer is just the third boxer to be inducted into the Brampton Sports Hall of Fame established in 1979.
The others are former welterweight champion Fraser Lockhurst and Bramalea Boxing Club coach Peter Sjouwerman who were inducted in 1995 and 2013, respectively.