Gordy Racette has two world titles and many continental and national championships in four different sports. He also holds 1st to 3rd degree black belts in 4 different styles.
Ring Master By Gary Mason Published Jan 1, 2010
The year was 1982. John Furlong was the director of parks and recreation for the district of Nanaimo. It was the era when “So You Think You’re Tough” amateur fight nights were held in small arenas across the country. And in Nanaimo there was a local fighter who’d built a bit of a legend for himself. His name was Gordie Racette.
Racette was a real-life Rocky—security guard by day, by night a brawler who’d rather die in the ring than quit. Furlong had an idea: get reigning Canadian heavyweight champ Trevor Berbick to come to Nanaimo and fight Racette for the national title. It would be held at Frank Crane arena and it would be a smash hit. At least in Furlong’s mind. So I jet off to Halifax to meet with Berbick and his lawyers and, honestly, I was completely out of my league,” the president and CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee recalls, some 27 years later. “I mean, I was 31 years old at the time. So we all meet in this hotel room and I make an offer and everyone starts laughing and saying they’d need way more than that.” Furlong bumped up his purse, but not by much. Berbick would get $100,000 and Racette $30,000. It would be the richest purse in Canadian boxing history.
Final offer. And if they didn’t take it in five minutes, Furlong would pack up and leave. Berbick’s camp said no deal. “So I leave,” Furlong continues. “It’s like 4 in the morning and my flight leaves at 9, so I go to my room and hop in the shower. I’m not in there five seconds when there’s a loud banging on my door. I get out and it’s one of Berbick’s people. He’s a monster, standing there looking at this dripping wet thing standing in front of him. He says they want to talk.” Furlong went back downstairs and Berbick’s lawyers again started haggling over their client’s take. “So I say, ‘That’s it,’ and get up to leave. And right then Berbick walks over and signs the contract. I couldn’t believe it.” Read More
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