Superstitious or not, Thomas Speirs will make his professional boxing debut this Friday the 13th.
The 22-year-old will take on 34-year-old Gary Kopas at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton on the K.O. Boxing fight card. After postponing his pro debut back in March when his opponent backed out, Speirs spent the summer itching to find someone to go glove to glove with him.
"I can't wait to throw on pro gloves and hit someone with those," said Speirs, a six-foot-one, 180-pound light-heavyweight boxer. "It's been a little up and down in the beginning there, but I'm back on track and fully healed and ready to go. I'm feeling strong, really strong and hitting really hard in the gym."
Speirs missed a couple of weeks of training after spraining his ankle in July and then two weeks ago he had another minor mishap at work when a spec of metal flew into his eye. Neither medical issue should affect his debut.
Kopas has a professional record of 4-5 with a win and a loss by knockout. Kopas has a bit of history with Speirs' coach Wayne Sponagle. The Spruce Capital Boxing Club coach had his only professional fight against an opponent that used Kopas as a sparring partner.
"That's quite a coincidence for Thomas to be fighting a boxer who trained with a professional boxer I fought back in 1997," said Sponagle. "It just adds a little more flavour to it. I tease Thomas about it saying he's only fighting my partner's sparring partner."
After Friday's fight, Sponagle said the K.O. Boxing promoters will sit down with Speirs to talk about signing a pro contract. K.O. Boxing normally books three fight cards a year, which are taped and shown on Sportsnet a couple weeks after the event.
Sponagle said his confidence in Speirs is high.
"I know Thomas is going to do well no matter which way he chooses to fight this opponent," said Sponagle. "I'm hoping he sticks to his boxing skills. He's a natural-born boxer. He's got beautiful rhythm and excellent boxing skills."
Speirs said he knew he'd turn pro after witnessing a fight card in Edmonton when he was 18 and after earning the silver medal at the 2012 Canadian amateur championship he decided the time was right to start working towards his pro debut.
The fight between Speirs and Kopas is scheduled for four rounds of three minutes each. For Speirs the only thing wrong is he's not making his pro debut in Prince George.
"It's pretty disappointing because all my family and friends are here," said Speirs. "I wish I could do it here, but it is what it is."