Coquitlam boxer heeds his passion despite injury

A devastating injury didn’t derail Farhad Javadian’s boxing dream. It just put it on another track.

Javadian was training at Griffins gym in North Vancouver for his very first boxing match when he blew out his shoulder while sparring. The torn labrum put his fight aspirations down for the count.

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But as Javadian awaited surgery, he concocted another idea.

“If I can’t be a champion, I can help produce a champion,” Javadian said.

And so was borne Rebels Boxing and Wrestling Club, the first such facility dedicated to boxing and old school wrestling in the Tri-Cities.

Pugilism and grappling run in Javadian’s blood.

His dad, Sohrab, was a provincial boxing champion in his native Iran until the sport was banned there and he took up wrestling.

When Javadian was growing up in Ottawa, his dad sent him to a boxing club to work off some of his adolescent energy.

“I was a wild kid,” Javadian said. “He knew the best thing was to put in front of a heavy bag.”

Javadian took to the sport immediately. He said it gave him confidence, made him feel energized, ready to take on any challenge.

But Sohrab told his son he couldn’t actually box a match until he got a degree.

So Javadian did, in medical radiation technology at Algonquin College in Ottawa. And when the family moved west, he headed for Griffins gym in North Vancouver, where his dad was a coach and started training.

“My whole dream was boxing,” Javadian said. “I never had a thing I loved until boxing came along.”

Javadian was well on his way to his first amateur bout, scheduled for last June, when he hurt his shoulder.

It was a blow to Javadian’s competitive aspirations to be sure. But he wasn’t going to let the bell ring on his dream.

Javadian used his down time to earn his coaching certification and put the plans in motion to open his own gym. He envisions Rebels as a classic gym where fighters of all abilities and dedication can just get a good workout hitting heavy and speed bags or embark on a serious training regime to face opponents in the ring. His dad, also a certified coach, will help out, and he’s casting about for other experienced coaches.

It’s not an easy dream to realize in the comfortable environs of suburbia, far from the inner city that has driven so many others to the sport as their way out of hardship.

But, Javadian said, “No matter where you are, everybody wants to feel good about themselves.”

And he still has his sights set on entering the ring himself.

Once Javadian’s right arm is free of its sling and he’s rehabbed, he said he’ll get back in the ring to start training again. He can hardly wait to reignite his passion

“If I’m still walking when I’m 90 years-old, I’ll put on the gloves,” he said.

• Rebels Boxing and Wrestling Club is located at 102-2786 Barnet Hwy. in Coquitlam. For more information go to

July 23: An earlier version of the story didn't specify Javadian's first, and only, coach was his dad, Sohrab.

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