By MICHAEL LAYCOCK
The Free Press (Fernie, B.C.)
May 19, 1994

Most of us who have brothers or sisters have probably wanted to beat the tar out of each other from time to time, but we seldom if ever act on the impulse.

Shaun and Jamie Plessis of Sparwood have turned that impulse into successful amateur boxing careers.

They only spar with each other, saving the serious blows for their non-family opponents, but when you watch them pretend to duke it out in the ring it’s clear there’s a healthy rivalry between the two.

The brothers, aged 15 and 14 respectively, have been boxing for four years and already hold numerous provincial boxing titles.

They both took the top awards in their respective weight categories in Alberta’s Golden Boy competition last March, says coach Kevin Doucet.

Shaun has qualified for the Canadian championships in Grand Prairie in July, while Jamie has earned a spot in the next Canada Winter Games.

Shaun, a grade nine student at Sparwood secondary school, says he likes the sport for its discipline.

“It keeps me in good shape, and keeps me out of trouble,” he says from the Elk Valley Boxing Club’s practice ring in the basement of the Black Nugget Hotel.

He says his worst experience with boxing was being knocked out when an opponent landed a punch he wasn’t ready for.

Jamie echoes his brother’s comments about boxing’s appeal.

“It teaches you good self-defence, and it’s fun,” says the grade 7 student from Frank J. Mitchell elementary school.

Doucet, who has coached the Plessis brothers from the beginning, says they’re a joy to work with.

“They’re easy to coach. They’re always working at it, and it shows.”

He adds the boys, two of eight kids in the club, enjoy the competitiveness of the sport and the opportunity to travel. Most of the out of town fights have been in Alberta, but Doucet says next year will see the boys travelling to the United States for bouts.