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30-years-old, already famous Boxer


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Westville Rink. May 20, 1995.
Aaron Kinch won't forget that date, that place or the fight that he had there with Francois Gelinas.
Kinch didn't get gold at the Canada Games when he went in February and March 1995.
"I lost the gold medal by one point - 13-12 - to a Quebecer," he remembers 14 years later.
The Quebecer was Gelinas. Kinch was 15 then and fighting in the 54 kg class. Many felt he had been cheated as he had landed the most blows during the fight. Silver was nice, but he couldn't shake the feeling of defeat.
At least not until two months later when the two met for a rematch in the Westville Rink on that May day.
Kinch knocked Gelinas out in the second round.
"It was huge to me because this guy was a three or four time Canadian champion," Kinch said.
He uses one word to describe the fight, the feeling of the win and and the memory: redemption.
"All my friends and family and any fight fan in Pictou County was there," he said. "It was awesome because they all saw it on CBC at the Canada Games and no one was really impressed with how the decision went there. To get the redemption, especially in Westville, was awesome."
The rink was just a stone's throw from Kinch's home. How fitting that he'll return there Saturday. In the Westville Civic Building, just another stone's throw away from the rink, Kinch will be inducted into Pictou County's Sports Heritage Hall of Fame during the ceremony which starts at 2 p.m.
He's the first Albion Boxer to ever have that honour, and if he's not the youngest, he's certainly among them.
"I'm honoured to be inducted," Kinch said. "I think it's really cool. We worked really hard for a lot of years.
"I just turned 30 this year so I think it's really cool to be inducted this year."
If there's one person who deserves the credit for him making the Hall of Fame he believes it's Trenton Albion's head boxing coach Jim Worthen.
"Without Jim Worthen I wouldn't have been able to make it anywhere near where I did," he said.
Worthen worked with Kinch's father and through that connection the boy started boxing there when he was about 10 years old.
"I have great memories just from the gym, sparing and training," Kinch said. "I love the atmosphere of the Albion Gym down there."
He was hooked from the time he first put the gloves on his hand. And he was good.
"Aaron Kinch was one of the Albion Boxing Clubs Best Boxers in it's 20-year-history," Worthen said in his nomination letter to the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame.
He has evidence to back that fact up too. Kinch won Novice Boxer of the Year in 1992 and was provincial champion in '93, '94, '95, '96 and '97. He also won the Gaelic Youth Gold Medal in 1996, the silver medal at the Canada Games in '95, Albion Boxing Club Boxer of the Year in '95 and '97 and Boxing Nova Scotia Boxer of the Year in '95 and '96.
He didn't stop there. These days he works full-time and fights pro matches.
"Nowadays they pay me to fight and the whole nine yards," he said.
While he now lives in Halifax, Kinch remembers Pictou County fondly and hopes to move back here when he retires.
He's looking forward to returning Saturday to Westville - a stone's throw from home and the best match of his life.
He'll probably bring along his wife Heather and children Liam, five, and Daniel, one.
Liam thinks it's cool his dad is getting inducted.
Kinch hopes he can be an inspiration to them and other young people.
"Both my kids enjoy coming to the boxing gym now," he said. "It's good. It kept me out of trouble growing up. That's kind of what I aspire to for my young fellas too."
Come Saturday it'll be official. They'll have a famous dad.

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