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Local fighter hopes to KO his criminal ways

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KAREEM CHARTRAND, a Winnipeg cruiserweight, will attempt to begin a new lifestyle when he steps into an Ed­monton ring Saturday to fight for the vacant World Boxing Association’s Canadian title in a scheduled 10-round bout with former Canadian Boxing Federation champion Ryan Henney.

Chartrand, who has a criminal record, is a replacement for Frank White of Sarnia, who ducked a rematch with Henney after lifting his CBF title in June. Chartrand has a record of 7-5-1 with four KO’s.

Chartrand earned his shot at the belt after his performance on Nov. 7 when he went seven rounds with White before being knocked out. "When Kareem fought against White, he had only two weeks of training after being incarcer­ated in Heading­ley (Correctional Institute)," said Joe Soares, Chartrand’s coach. "GoJo Gym supports Kareem’s goal of being a world champion, and lead­ing a positive lifestyle in 2009."

Henney, the former CBF champion, was considered a natural for a shot at the WBAC title.

"I haven’t fought him before," Chartrand said in an interview with the Free Press. "For the other fight (with White), I got the call only five days after serving nine months. No one thought I had a chance, but I went seven rounds, and now I am in top shape."

Chartrand is confident in his chances and said the length of the fight won’t be an issue.

"If it goes the distance, that is fine with me, as long as I have the ‘W’ at the end of the fight. My prediction, though, is that it won’t go past eight rounds. I’ll stop him."

 allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

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