Former Olympic boxer Custio Clayton on the hunt for world championship title
Published Monday, July 17, 2017 9:25PM ADT
One of the best boxers to ever come out of Canada is back in his Nova Scotia hometown for the summer.
Custio Clayton, the shy and confident six-time Canadian champion, is catching up with his family in North Preston, N.S., where he used to run around the ring at the City Lakes Boxing Club.
Clayton’s cousin first introduced him to boxing when he was just nine years old. His mother's basement is now a boxing hall of fame of sorts, showcasing achievements Clayton has earned over the years.
“He was a smart kid,” says Clayon’s mother, Elizabeth Clayton. “I'm glad that he was smart. He followed his own mind, he went to the gym and he started boxing. That's what he wanted to do and he did it.”
Clayton then began the road to legitimacy, connecting combinations to a record of 11 wins and not a single loss. He then went on to win the WBC and IBF regional belts in a unanimous decision, as well as represent Canada at the London Olympic Games.
“I'm very happy of what I've done, but I don't show it much,” says Custio Clayton. “People look at it like, ‘He's not happy.’ I'm always happy.”
Clayton has always had a familiar face giving him the inspiration to believe that one day he could be a world champion. His uncle, Gary Johnson, says relocating to Quebec is a perfect fit for Clayton and his promotions team.
“Montreal, the people (were) willing to invest in him and the coaches there they knew him," Johnson says.
His biggest challenges haven't always been in the ring.Three months ago, Montreal police pulled him over in a traffic stop. Clayton believes he was racially profiled and has asked for an apology from Montreal police.
“I still had a fight that week and even after when I won these belts, I had more important things I had wanted to keep my mind focused on,” Clayton says.
Clayton says being a role model to other kids is important to him.
“If you have a goal, something in life whether in sport or whether you want to become a doctor, or anything you want to do, you'll be able to do it,’ says Clayon.
Clayton says his visit home is giving him the chance to recharge the batteries. He'll take a break from training until September, when he'll defend his two titles.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Vince Williams.