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Humble Boxing Academy fighter throws punches at pro fight in Halifax

An Alberta boxer representing Airdrie's Humble Boxing Academy added another pro bout to his record on Dec. 18, competing as one of the main card events at the Thrilla by the Hilla in Halifax, N.S.
Welterwight boxer Brian Samuel (second from left) recently represented Airdrie's Humble Boxing Academy at a professional fight in Halifax.

An Alberta boxer representing Airdrie's Humble Boxing Academy added another pro bout to his record just before Christmas, competing under the co-main card at the Thrilla by the Hilla event in Halifax, N.S.

Though 32-year-old welterweight Brian "Yard Dog" Samuel calls Red Deer home, he trains out of the Humble Boxing Academy in Airdrie, under the watchful eye of gym-owner Lucas George.

Samuel's most recent rumble in the ring was on Dec. 18, 2021 against Nova Scotian Kyle McNeil, who boasts an 11-4 professional record.

It was a bout Samuel lost in six rounds on a unanimous decision at Halifax's Scotiabank Centre. According to Samuel, the fight started out in his favour before he suffered a setback in the fourth round, severely injuring his shoulder. 

"If it kept going the way it was in the first three, I would have put him away," he said. "It wasn’t even anything he did. It was a shot I did that set me back.”

“I don’t want to say he was robbed but it was a close fight," added George, the Humble Boxing Academy owner. He said Samuel was knocked down in the fourth and head-butted early on in the fourth round, which resulted in a big cut over his left eye.

"I think at the end of the day, coming down to a split decision, the judges are going to push more toward the local fighter," George said. "But he looked better than I’d ever seen him – his jab was working perfectly, his footwork was amazing. He worked hard to get ready for this fight and it showed, for sure.”

Samuel is no stranger to the pro ranks, with 14 professional bouts and 5-9 record to his name. While the Red Deer resident acknowledged he's a better boxing coach than he is a competitor, he added he loves the way the sport provides an outlet and an "escape from reality." 

“I’ve had injuries and have never been able to dedicate everything to it like I’d want to because I have a mortgage, bills to pay and I have to work," he said. "I know I’m a veteran with an upside-down record, but I’ll fight anybody, and any time I leave, I leave with the fans [on my side] – I always steal the crowd and give boxing fans what they want to see, regardless of what the decision ends up being.”

Having worked with Samuel for a decade, George said the Red Deerian's progression in the sport has been obvious to see. Even though Samuel has lost more professional fights than he's won, George said the boxer's willingness to enter the ring and take on anyone shows he's not trying to pad his record with easy wins. He noted other opponents Samuel has taken on in the last few years include Josh Jauncey, who is a Canadian national kick-boxing champion, and Calgarian Devin Reti, who boasts an unbeaten 15-0 record in the pro ranks.

“He doesn’t pick and choose his fights," George said of Samuel. "If someone says, ‘You wanna fight?’ he says, ‘Let’s go.’ So of course he’s progressing because he fights the best of the best in the province and other provinces," he said.

"He’s in the game for his passion of the sport. He wants to get out there and fight the best, and every time he goes out there, he looks better and better.”

With the Thrilla at the Hilla wrapped up, Samuel will rest up his shoulder before resuming his training regimen.

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