Duff, Rick – 2017
Duff, Rick – 2017
2017 Boxing Athlete, Lethbridge
Rick Duff competed as a boxer from 1979 to 1984, as well as in 1989 and in 1995. He had 251 wins and 13 losses. He was a seven-time Provincial Champion, five-time Canadian National Champion, and won a number of international events. Rick was a member of the greatest Canadian Amateur Boxing Team ever assembled - with Willie de Wit, Lennox Lewis, Shawn O’Sullivan and Dale Walters. They made Canadian history when they defeated the American National Team for the first time. Rick fulfilled a life-long dream for both himself and his boyhood and Olympic coach Kai Yip, when he competed at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
Rick's aspirations to become a better hockey goalie, coupled with being bullied in the school yard, prompted him to step into the boxing ring at the age of 15. At the Lethbridge Boxing Club, under the direction of Kai Yip, he soon fell in love with the sport of boxing. In 1980, he won a Canadian Junior Championship. The following year, he rose to the Intermediate category (U 19) and won a bronze medal at the Canadian Championships. In 1982 and 1983, he won gold medals at the Canadian Intermediate Championships. In 1984, Rick fought a senior boxer and qualified for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.
In the ring, Rick demonstrated deceptive speed and threw excellent combinations. “His level of fitness and stamina was crazy.” He set a strong example for fellow boxing club members with his work ethic and willingness to help others train. In international competitions, he always portrayed extreme professionalism, sportsmanship, and was known as a rugged, tough competitor.
When his amateur career came to a close, Rick served in the Canadian military. He volunteered as an Assistant Coach with the Lethbridge Boxing Club, Inner City Boxing in Calgary, and the South Side Boxing Club in Edmonton. In 2010, he took over running the Lethbridge Boxing Club and became its Head Coach.
Rick Duff was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. In 2014, he was named Boxing Alberta’s Coach of the Year.