A veteran of nearly 300 bouts at the amateur level Mike Strange has
mastered the art of scoring and preventing points. That was evident at the
recent Olympic qualification tournament in Mexico when he allowed only
three points in three matches. It was a great performance after the
disappointment of not making the Pan Am team in 1999.
"I'm more of a counter puncher," said Strange, an 11-time national
champion. "Basically I block the punches and wait for the other guy to get
tired. I pretty well train that way. In the computerized scoring system
defense is huge."
The Sydney Games will be his third Olympics-a Canadian boxing record. He
returns after a disappointing end in the quarter final at the 1996 Games to
complete some unfinished business: win a medal.
"I had planned to retire after Atlanta but that bad decision didn't sit
well with me," he said. "The only thing missing from my amateur career is
an Olympic medal. I hope to solve that this year."
Strange, who owns and operates a bar in Niagara Falls, has never been
attracted to the darker professional side of boxing. He may hang up the
gloves after Sydney.
"The first thing is that professional boxing is dangerous," said Strange.
"There's no helmet, the gloves are smaller and your brain cells take a
beating. Going from amateur to pro is basically going from a sport to a
business. I like amateur boxing and representing my country and
travelling all over the world."
Light welterweight (63.5-kg): Mike Strange, Niagara Falls, Ont., lost 9-3 on points to Nurhan Suleymanoglu, Turkey, in opening-round bout.
A dejected Mike Strange
Sunshine Boy Mike Strange
2000 Games Boxing Coverage