TOM 'TIGER' WRIGHT - Narrator
The youngest of seven children, Tiger had to fight his way through life and the tough neighbourhood he grew up in. He earned his nickname 'Tiger' at the age of 8 when he feistily boxed an older boy twice his size, impressing the crowd who were cheering for him as the little 'Tiger', the name has stuck ever since.
Tiger began boxing seriously at the age of 15 at the Davis Hall Boxing Club in Fonthill, Ontario, Canada. His street fighting background helped him skyrocket to the top of his lightweight division. Also known as the 'Beatle Boxer' for his Beatle-style haircut, Tiger won most of his sixty fights. His rapid success exposed him to the dark underbelly of boxing where he unfortunately took a wrong turn. By the early 70s, drugs, alcohol, women and parties took away his shot at a pro career. Never losing his fighting spirit, Tiger decided to coach. After spending months studying the training techniques of trainers of World Class champions across North America, Tiger opened the doors to his own gym. For more than two decades, Tiger coached boxers to championship status and earned him an honored place in the boxing community. Now, at the age of 55, Tiger is working hard at rebuilding his life and the ties with his 6 children from 3 marriages, " I don't want to be a tough guy anymore. I don't have to have a fleet of Cadillacs and be all tanned up. I want to help people and get close to my family again, I missed a lot during those crazy years."
GLENN 'THE BUTCHER' HUNTER - Featured Light Heavyweight boxer
At 22 years of age, Hunter has the passion and the charisma to make it to the top. Born of Scottish and German parents and raised in Dunville, Ontario, Hunter got his start in boxing by sparring with his younger brother on the living room floor of his parents home to the heavy metal sounds of AC/DC. Hunter taxes his body with hours of hard physical labour by day working in the family-owned butcher shop and then pounds the punching bag at night at his boxing club. Hunter began to box three years ago hoping it would help to control his aggressive and carefree behavior. He also hoped the sport would provide him direction and a deeper understanding of himself, which it did. At 81 kg of pure muscle and brute strength, Hunter has an uncanny ability to anticipate his opponent's next move and counter it with his own deadly punches. As a result, Hunter has lost only one fight in his 3-year career and won the Ontario Novice Championship title. Notorious for sleeping in his car just moments before a fight, Hunter has dreams of making the Olympic team. With the support of his family and a large fan following, Hunter is destined to reach his goal. Hunter also holds a Retail Management degree from Niagara College and has recently opened his own boxing club in Saint Catharines, Ontario.
TREVOR PACHKOWSKI - Featured Welterweight boxer
Before he began boxing 3 years ago, Pachkowski was a train wreck waiting to happen. Sporting long hair and smoking 4 to 5 joints a day, Pachkowski would wile his days away writing music and jamming aimlessly with his band, Stannz Werdz. He was in the worst shape of his life and his back was in serious disrepair. His girlfriend, at the time, convinced him to join her grandfather's gym, Napper's Boxing Club, founded by the legendary Olympic coach, Ray Napper. As soon as he stepped into Napper's gym his life turned completely around. He cut his hair, stopped the drugs and began training hard 5 days a week. Inspired by Canadian champions, Billy 'The Kid' Irwin and Tom Glesby, Pachkowski, aspires to one day become the 'People's Pride' of Welland, Ontario, his hometown. Within 3 short years, the results have been astounding. His dedication to the training and his superior cardio ability helped him win the prestigious 2003 Ray McGibbon Gloves at the age of 25. He is also a talented musician. Playing guitar and doing vocals, his band has been on the same playbill as Big Sugar and By Divine Right. By day, Pachkowski heads the Quality Control Department of a large manufacturing plant. Pachkowski hopes to inspire people from all walks of life with his story, " I want people to realize that it doesn't matter where you come from, even someone from a small town like me can make it."
RAY NAPPER, JR. - Featured Middleweight Boxer
With 21 fights under his belt, Napper Jr. is the youngest yet most experienced fighter in the documentary. Grandson of the legendary Olympic boxing coach, Ray Napper Sr., surprisingly, Jr. only became interested in boxing after his grandfather died. By the age of 13, Jr. was rocketing to success. Under the guiding hands of his father, he competed in the prestigious Brampton Cup and won a gold medal in his weight class as well as the Best Junior B title. Two months later, he captured the gold at the Ontario Championships. Soon after, he beat an undefeated champion, Jamie Townsend, at a fundraising event. Jr. was 'hot'. His name was on the lips of all the key players in the boxing community. Riding high on his rapid success, Jr. was ready for the tournament of his life-the one that meant the most to him and the Napper legacy-the Canadian Boxing Championships. He trained arduously to drop the excess weight he had gained in the past year. He worked closely with several experienced boxers and sparred with Mike Strange (3 time Olympic champion) and Alan Hutton (Ontario Champion). The hard work paid off, rightfully earning him the gold medal and the Canadian title in the Light Middleweight division at the age of 15. After reaching this peak, Napper Jr. stepped away from the ring to enjoy his teenage years. Now at 17, and an Open Class fighter, he is slowly getting back into shape and waiting to 'fill-out' in order to compete in the Senior division with fighters almost twice his age. Napper Jr., lives in Welland, Ontario and splits his time between the gym, playing golf and his full-time job in industry.
JERRY ZOLNER - Director and Cinematographer
Zolner is no newcomer to the 'fight' world. Holder of black belts in Wado Kai and Tae Kwon Do, he also owned a martial arts school where he coached several martial arts disciplines as well as a new form of kickboxing. In the early 80s, Zolner ventured to Hollywood on a whim, hoping to be the next Chuck Norris. What transpired ended up shaping his life and career today. During his 12 year run in Hollywood, Zolner studied the filmmaking craft. Working with the crews on The Love Boat,Schwarzenegger's Commando as well as on several of Tom Hank's films, Zolner had the opportunity to work closely with each director, Cinematographer and actor. During this time, Zolner also pursued photography, a perfect blend of his natural artistic ability and his superior aptitude in Physics and Mathematics- for which he earned a University scholarship. Zolner made his living as professional photographer in Los Angeles for 7 years before moving back to Canada to open his own photography studio. The thought of directing feature films never left Zolner. He shared this passion with an old friend, John Patus.
After years of talking about getting into 'the biz', Patus took the first step with the idea of creating a visionary documentary on boxing, a sport they were both familiar. Zolner took the helm as first-time director and cinematographer. The project holds personal triumphs for Zolner, "If you dare to dream and take that tangible step forward, that dream can become a reality. Filming this documentary has been a test of courage, desire and perseverance that has elevated my respect for anyone involved in filmmaking." Zolner currently resides in St. Catharines, Ontario.
JOHN PATUS - Writer and Producer
Patus brings to the project a multitude of skills and experience. Patus holds a law degree and several years of legal practice as Partner in a Canadian-based law firm. During this time, Patus also produced professional sporting events for Wide World of Sports and ESPN in addition to promoting major concert venues. He further lent his skills to an international marketing company that became the largest in its class. However, the conventional business world never really suited Patus, a guy who kick boxes, surfs and jumps out of planes for fun. He dropped everything, the prestige, the money and the power to follow his true passion: writing and producing. He enrolled in U.C.L.A.'s film program and studied under Academy Award®-nominated writer and director Lionel Chetwynd (The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz) and famed producers Jonathan D. Krane (Face-Off, Primary Colors) and John Thomas Lenox (Splash).
In 2000, he joined the writing team at Cloud Ten Pictures. His collaboration on the screenplay Left Behind: The Movie, a film that put Hollywood on its head when it sold over 3 million videos and was the independent film box office darling, led him to future writing projects. These were: Judgment, starring Mr. T and Corbin Bernsen; Deceived with former brat-packer Judd Nelson and Academy Award® winner Louis Gossett Jr., and Left Behind II: Tribulation Force starring former Growing Pains heartthrob, Kirk Cameron. In addition to the boxing documentary, Patus has six screenplay and a TV series in the pipeline of his production company, Stone Canyon Films: suspense/horror film described as a cross between The Exorcist and the Sixth Sense; an End-Times prophecy thriller; a hot crushing action/adventure film based in Hawaii; a rock band drama; a Snatch meets small-town brawl, biker gang hell-ride adventure; and, as any Canadian born writer would have in his arsenal: a hockey movie.
JOE & KYLE ADAM - Associate Producers, Editors and camera work.
Both young aspiring filmmakers, at 24 and 22 years respectively, the Adam brothers hope to one day become their own version of the Coen brothers. Joe, the eldest brother, was the first to catch the film bug. After writing, casting, directing and producing a play in his senior high school year, Joe enrolled in Ryerson University's acting program. He then wrote a screenplay that went into production but was shelved due to lack of funds. His younger brother Kyle went a different route, first taking business and philosophy courses at Brock University and then enrolling in a comedy writing and performance program. Joe's passion for filmmaking inspired Kyle who joined forces with him in 2002. Together they opened their own production company called Poor Poet Productions, named after the famed poet Khalil Gibran who, incidentally, lived two villages over from their father's in Lebanon. The brothers' partnership works as seamlessly as their friendship. Joe handles the camera, Kyle takes care of sound and both share in the editing. This documentary marks the brothers' first full scale production since their company's inception. The experience has led them to a deeper understanding and respect for filmmaking as well as the sport of boxing. "What you see on TV is just the tip of the iceberg. What you don't see is all the training, coaching, dedication, devotion and technique that's involved in boxing. It's a feat just to step into the ring. We hope people will identify with the main characters and learn to respect the sport as much as we do now." The brothers reside in Welland, Ontario where they are currently perfecting their craft by shooting actor reels for friends.