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Matt Mizerski - Great honour to have know this man who was part of entire career on the National Boxing Team

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Matt Mizerski

Eulogy for Matt Mizerski

By Domenic Filane Figliomeni

In Ottawa on Saturday May 5/2012

Good Morning.

It is a great honour for me to be asked by Izabella and Michal to talk a little bit about our friend Matt, and his achievements and contributions to the sport of Boxing.As well as thanks to Boxing Canada for allowing me the opportunity to represent all the athletes and coaches Matt has inspired.

I met Matt in 1989, as an aspiring young athlete who had just made it on to Matt’s National Boxing team.During the years of knowing Matt our relationship grew from a colleague, to a mentor, and then to a great friend. In the sport of boxing, profiles of individuals are called the “tale of the tape”.So hear is the tale of the tape on Matt Mizerski.

Matt started coaching with Boxing Canada in 1982.For 23 ½ years he has served as Technical Director and Director of the High Performance Program.At almost every National team Training Camp he would be in charge of training camp venues, equipment, technical support, scouting and making sure the Canadian Boxers had everything they needed to be at their best to compete against the World.He has been to three Olympic Games, Los Angeles in 1984, Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996.He has been to 7 World Championships, 3 Commonwealth Games and 2 Pan-American Games.He is known in the boxing world as the Historian or Statistician because he is responsible for creating the one and only computerized database for International Amateur Boxing results, a database which includes over 60,000 names.He’s a member of the coaches commission of AIBA, the Amateur International Boxing Association. From Ottawa, ON by way of Poland….Matt Mizerski.

The news of Matt’s passing has shocked the boxing scene, not only in Canada, but internationally as well.Not many people knew Matt was sick, because like Matt was, he kept his troubles private.Condolence messages have been pouring in from people that have had the experience of knowing Matt and benefitting from his knowledge.

Matt loved what he did in the office, but his passion was always with the athletes.At training camps most of the coaches would show up for our morning runs with a cup of coffee and a newspaper to read while we were out for our run, but not Matt. He would show up in his track suit, or little shorts and run with us.That was Matt!

During training sessions in the gym, Matt would hold the pads for us even though it wasn’t really in his job description.He would do everything in his power to help us any way he could.During some of the free time at training camps, Matt was famous for playing and beating members of our team at tennis.(Which he was quite proud of !)

Going through my photo albums this week reminiscing about Matt, I was amazed of the amount of people that Matt’s work and knowledge in amateur boxing has touched. His guidance has helped many of us not only in, but out of the ring as well.

Matt was firm but fair with all the athletes, and he also had a quick wit and sense of humour that always lightened the mood for us during some tense times competing.

We were at the training camp for the Olympic trails before the Barcelona Olympics, a tournament that we had to win at to go to the Olympics.We had some free time and most of the team was in a common area where we would just relax, watch TV, play cards etc…

Matt was reading a newspaper and started to point out some ads to our Heavyweight Tom Glesby for Big Screen TVs’.Matt would say “Tommy, Here is a 42 inch really good price” oh and look a 50 inch.After a while of this pointing out different options for big screen TVs, Tommy says, “Matt, what do I want a Big screen TV for? Matt replies, “Because if you don’t start working harder, and being so lazy you won’t qualify for the Olympics, but a least you’ll have a good TV to watch the rest of the team on!!Needless to say Tommy did qualify and went to the Barcelona Olympics, but I think Matt’s example gave him and the rest of us a little more motivation to work harder.

Some of us on the team had a nickname for Matt and it was “MATTCHECK”.It was a play on his Polish heritage.Many of the new guys that came on the team through the years actually thought it was his real name because they could over hear us veterans of the team saying…Matt check my opponents record.Matt Check if you have any data on that Cuban.Matt check if you have any fight tapes on that guy.And Usually Matt had the information that we needed or he would find it out for us rather quickly.

Matt had a big heart and made sure no one on his team was left behind.Whether it is helping an injured athlete out, doing situation control when knucklehead boxers lost their plane tickets, or sending out a team of horses to find lost boxers in the mountains during high altitude training, Matt always found a way to keep us safe.

The last time I seen Matt was in 2010 when he travelled 20 hours in car with my coach Adrian Teodorescu to join me in Schreiber for our boxing team reunion. He knew how much it meant to me to have him there, and I appreciated his efforts to make the long trek. It was in Schreiber his compassion was displayed again.We were at a barbeque, and it was getting late in the evening.My son Nick was starting to fall asleep in a chair and Matt picked him up and cuddled him to make sure he was comfortable and warm, while we spent more time reminiscing about our glory days.He visited me in Schreiber on a few occasions, and even brought Izabella, and his dog Kuba once.

Adrian also sends his condolences, as he could not be here today because he is away with the National team trying to keep up Matt’s vision and qualify some boxers for the upcoming Olympic Games being held later this summer.

Matt was a straight shooter.He always told it like it was.You would always get an honest answer or opinion from him.If you were looking for an unearned “pat” on the back from Matt you were definitely not going to get it.But when you did get a compliment from Matt, it meant the world to you.

Matt’s famous quote was “Good coffee is better than Bad coffee”.I would argue with him saying “Matt, you mean bad coffee is better than no coffee” He would reply “No”.

Then I would say what you really mean to say is “any coffee is better than No coffee”.

NO!You see… “Good coffee is better than Bad coffee”

That was Matt….To the point.

Friends, Colleagues, Family… be assured that the path Matt has created for Amateur Boxing will never be forgotten, and will live on in his memory.


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