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Joey Smith
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Truro boxer fighting for provincial title Saturday in Bible Hill

BIBLE HILL - Ryan McGrady hopes to make his senior division boxing debut a memorable one.
McGrady, 18, makes the jump from the junior ranks tomorrow night when he competes for a provincial title at the Nova Scotia amateur boxing championships in Bible Hill.
"This is my first senior bout so I'm excited for that," said McGrady, a member of the Truro Amateur Boxing Club.
McGrady will meet Alonzo Johnson from the City of Lakes club in Dartmouth for the Nova Scotia welterweight (140 pounds) title on the 14-fight card at the Agridome.
"I've seen his style, I know I can beat him, I just have to put my punches together," McGrady said. "I basically know the game plan and know what I have to do. It's just going out there and doing it."
McGrady has more than 30 fights to his credit, but just three as a member of the Truro club. The South Shore native moved to the Hubtown last August to attend the Nova Scotia Community College where he is enrolled in the recreational leadership program.
Having friends and family attend Saturday's bout makes the event even more special for the affable teen.
"It's pretty exciting," he said. "I know a lot of people in the area, and they're all coming to cheer me on. Back in the South Shore boxing wasn't big so I might have had two or three friends show up at a fight."
So how many does he expect will attend Saturday's event?
"Quite a crowd," he laughed.
McGrady first stepped in the ring about four-and-a-half years ago. He said his interest was piqued after watching the 'sweet science' on TV.
"I looked at my dad and said, 'I wanna do that.' So he found a class, stuck me in it and I've been in it since."
McGrady is part of a booming sport in Truro. The local boxing club, which moved into new digs on the exhibition grounds last April, is home to about 50 fighters, and growing.
"I love it," McGrady said of the club. "The atmosphere at the club, it's like everyone's a family and it's just huge. My old club was not even half this size."
McGrady won the 2007 provincial crown in the 132-pound class by walkover, but lost last year. He looks forward to getting another crack at provincial glory tomorrow night as he tries to earn a berth at the national championship in Halifax in
February.
"I haven't been to a Truro fight yet, so I don't know quite what it's like but I hear they're pretty big, so I'm pretty excited."
Ron Lamb, head coach of the Truro club, said McGrady faces a tough opponent, however, he is optimistic his fighter will do well.
"Ryan is primed," Lamb said. "He's at his best right now, and I'm very impressed with his training, and I'm very impressed with his techniques. So I'd give him the edge just from sheer determination and he wants it more than anybody. He's got the heart of a lion."

jsmith@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Nova Scotia Community College, Truro Amateur Boxing Club, Agridome

Geographic location: Bible Hill, Nova Scotia, South Shore Lakes Dartmouth Halifax

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