KAMLOOPS - Ken Huber spends the majority of his days preparing to fight someone he doesn't know. He eats, trains, eats again then trains some more. He practices fighting someone with a right-hand dominance, then a left-hand dominance. Huber doesn't even know the man's name. On the opposite side of the country, a stranger is thinking of the best way to beat Huber in a boxing match.
"I'm going in fairly blind," Huber says. Make no mistake: Huber purposefully keeps himself in the dark about his opponent. It demands more of him in the training process as he prepares to combat a variety of fighting styles.
“I look at my opponent as a very capable man (who’s) training to hurt me,” he says.
There are a lot of unknowns. But one thing's certain, there will be a fight Oct. 17.
Huber, 31, is an amateur boxer and owner of the Kamloops Boxing Academy. In the match set in Mississauga, he will represent Western Canada's amateur cruiserweight class. If he wins, he'll move on to represent Canada in the world boxing championships.
A variety of titles follow Huber. Two-time Western Canadian champion, two time silver and gold heavyweight champion, and 2012 Canadian Nationalist among several others.
“Every one of (my) titles, I’ve earned. I wasn’t given anything,” says Huber.
The fight less than two weeks away will be the biggest of his career and preparing for it has been half the battle: Twice a day, six days a week. Strength and conditioning exercises work every muscle group, from running, sparring and weights, to running and swimming. His diet is clean and strict: Three square organic meals per day. The dishes are simple – high protein, carbs and veggies - with no room for cheating. Of course it's tough to stay the course but as a motivator, Huber keeps his opponent at the forefront of his mind.
“It’s a challenge for me on certain days to get up and get going. If there’s one thing that makes me get up and get it done, it’s the thought that everything I’ve earned can be taken away from me at any time,” he says. "When I look at the thought of losing all (my progress) by skipping a workout or having a cheat meal or a whole cheat day and let my opponent get that edge on me, instantly changes my mind.”
Huber established his mentality after his first fight in Kamloops. He invited his friends and family to watch him take part in a Toughman Competition eight years ago.
“I wasn’t really as tough as I thought I was,” he says with a laugh. “I walked in with my hat on backwards and my beer gut hanging out – thinking that I was tough because I had a couple of fights in high school. I went up against this guy and he dropped me in the first round.”
The “fairly embarrassing” fight almost knocked him out – but it also woke him up. He realized if he wanted to fight, it would require a great deal of training.
After conditioning his body and registering for more fights it was clear to Huber and others the training paid off. He started to win titles and gain notoriety. After a successful knock-out at a fight in Quesnel, Huber was nicknamed “Heavy Hands."
Even though Huber's career is hurting others, the sport for him remains very much a gentleman’s game.
“It’s a brotherhood,” Huber says. “We always hug and shake hands at the end of the fight.”
Sporting a black eye and a smile, Huber admits he’s a teddy bear. A point of contention with his coaches, they keep telling him he needs to up his aggression before the fight.
“I gotta get meaner,” he says.
The aggression may succeed in evoking fear from his opponent, but Huber fears something else entirely.
“I’m not afraid of my opponent. I’m afraid of my opponent taking everything I’ve worked for,” he says.
To support Huber's trip to Ontario you can make a donation online. Take a look at some of his fights below:
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