‘Real life Rocky Balboa’: Local blue collar battler has eyes set on Victoria pro match

'Real life Rocky Balboa': Local blue collar battler has eyes set on Victoria pro match
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Victoria boxer Brandon Colantonio is pictured.

The rungs on the pro boxing ladder are among the hardest to climb, but a Victoria fighter isn’t afraid of a little hard work.

Brandon Colantonio’s day starts early.

“I get up and maybe go for a run,” he says. “I work 10 hours, then I go to the gym right after to work out. Then I go teach boxing, then home.”

Work is hard labour, sorting refuse and recyclables at HL Disposal. From punching the clock to punching the pads with coach Jason Heit, Colantonio’s work has resulted in a perfect pro record.

“He’s currently ranked number 4 in the country in the Super Heavyweight, and he’s on that trajectory that we want him to be on,” says Heit.

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Colantonio’s confidence stems from his work ethic and the progress he’s made.

“I’m proud that I was once the worst guy in the gym. I got my head caved in a few times,” he laughs.

On Saturday, his fourth pro fight happens at Pearkes Arena as part of Champ Promotions’ Round 4, which features some of Canada’s top boxers from the amateur and pro ranks.

Colantonio is paired with Mexican Super Heavyweight Jose Paredes Hernandez.

“I’m gonna move and not get hit. Use my speed and go for a nice knockout. That’s my plan,” he says.

Colantonio says he’s got a big corner of support, from his fiancĂ©e, to co-workers, to fellow Island fighters, but he’s always been inspired by a certain fighter film franchise.

“He’s the real life Rocky Balboa,” laughs Heit.

If Colantonio’s the DJ at the gym, you know what’s coming over the speakers. “He blasts the Rocky soundtrack,” says Heit. Colantonio knows everyone’s not into “The Eye of the Tiger.”

“It drives people crazy,” he says.

He knows the list of Canadian heavyweight champs is short, but he’s willing to put in the work.

“I’ve put 15 years into this sport and I want to be a world champion,” he says.

The undercard for Round 4 starts at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Pearkes Recreation Centre at 3100 Tillicum Rd., with the main card starting at 6 p.m.

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island fight promoter Jason Heit set for first post-pandemic boxing show

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