'Late bloomer' to keep on boxing Savage won't let disappointment end his career

Chris Cariou 
959 words 
8 June 2001 
Winnipeg Free Press 
Metro 
c4 
English 


Amateur Scene 

RYAN Savage says he hasn't hit the end of the boxing road yet. Winnipeg's hard-hitting, eloquent pugilist got knocked out of his first World Amateur Boxing Championship in his first fight earlier this week, but when asked by the Free Press in an e-mail whether making it to a worlds after 13 years of trying was enough to make him hang up his gloves and pursue his law career, he came back at us with a nifty left cross. 

"It's hard to get so close to something, know you can and should get it, yet still fall short," he said yesterday in an e-mail from Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the Canadian contingent was down to one boxer left -- Quebec's Jean Pascal in the 71-kg class. 

"I was warming up for my fight against Cuba with guys who shouldn't even be in the same dressing room as me. 

"The bottom line is I think I will continue to compete, so long as I can still manage the other parts of my life, as I have done for years. I think I'm a late bloomer because I still feel like I'm improving every day. Every athlete has a time in their career when they shine (usually just for a moment). 

"That opportunity still hasn't come to me. I need it. It doesn't matter where it happens. It doesn't have to be the Olympic Games. The day that I can say 'That was the best that I have to offer' is the day I will retire. I haven't reached that point yet." 

What more can an elite athlete say to make people understand what makes him tick?