Prince Albert’s success in the provincial boxing scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s can be largely attributed to one man ‑ “Tut” Coombs.
Born in Prince Albert in 1914, Coombs did some amateur boxing as a youth, but he quit competing at the age of 16 at the request of his mother.
His love for the sport was too strong to remain on the outside, and two years later he began training professional boxers. Coombs was never satisfied with his involvement in the sport until he began training amateur boxers with the Royal Canadian Legion Boxing Club in 1967.
Coombs, along with Dick Stevens and Tom Settee, set up a ring, provided other equipment and in very little time had 30 ‑ 40 members. The club remained just a local unit until 1970 when it became a member of the Saskatchewan Amateur Boxing Association. At its first provincial tournament in Saskatoon that year, Coombs entered two boxers with Gary Fulton claiming the gold medal in the 105‑pound junior weight class.
From 1970 ‑ 76, Coombs trained 30 provincial champions and also had a number of boxers compete at the Canadian junior Olympics, Western Canadian Championships, Golden Glove competitions and the Saskatchewan and Canada Winter Games. He emerged from nearly every competition with at least one medal winner.
Coombs was recognized by his peers as one of the best “corner men” in the province and a number of times he would help other fighters when they competed at major events.
It is for his dedication, concern and knowledge of the sport that the Saskatchewan Amateur Boxing Association recently made him a life member and it is for these reasons and much more that the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame places his name on its honour roll in the builder’s category.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.