Role Model - Fitz the "Whip"
In 1984 as a high school student, Fitz took a desperately needed break from boxing. Instead, for the next four years Fitz wrestled for the Eastwood Collegiate High School Team under the tutelage of Walt Barnes. Fitz started boxing again in 1989. While fighting out of the K-W Boxing Club he acquired his coaching certification while still a boxer himself. Something that was rare for a boxer to do.
Fitz "THE WHIP" Vanderpool was the reigning 1993 Canadian Amateur Light Welterweight Champion when he turned professional. He decided to follow his Dream to become a World Champion in the professional rank of boxing. "THE WHIP" knew well that turning pro would not be easy when he went to Goody Petronelli, (Boston MA.) in January 1993 to train . At the advanced age of 26 years, few people gave Fitz a chance of accomplishing that goal, his DREAM ….
"THE WHIP" compiled a record of 5 wins 1 loss in 7 months while having the burden of paying his living expenses from his life savings. He returned to Canada and bought out his own Boxing contract from Goody Petronelli. Not discouraged because he BELIEVED IN HIS ABILITY AND WANTED TO CONTINUE CHASING HIS DREAM…….
In September of 1993, Fitz and his coach Joe Hajnal Sr, a former Hungarian Champion from 1952, began to work their way into the world of professional boxing. "THE WHIP" was determined to be the best, fighting whoever came along. Then the chance to fight for the Canadian Welterweight Title. Though Fitz was only a Jr Welterweight he accepted the challenge to showcase his talent against Tony "Bad Boy" Badea in Tony's home town of Edmonton Alberta.
Tony "Bad Boy" Badea was a big Welterweight with a record of 13 and 0 with 10 KO's. The first round was an awakening for "THE WHIP" as Tony knocked him down. From then on Fitz's determination and BELIEF IN HIMSELF gave him confidence and he rallied back to KO Badea in the 6th round.
On that day April 6th 1996 the DREAM CAME TRUE: Fitz "THE WHIP" Vanderpool was Crowned Canadian Welterweight Champion.
It was the first Professional Boxing Title brought back to Kitchener in over (50 years). In 1997 Fitz won the W.B.F. Inter Continental Title and continuing to blaze a trail went on to win the W.B.C. Fecarbox Welterweight Title as well, bringing those titles back to Kitchener to be proudly celebrated..Fit "The Whip" held 3 Championship titles at the same time. Unable to defend them all at the same time he relinquished two of the titles and held on to the Canadian Title. He later defended the Canadian Title 3 times. Fitz went on to hold the Canadian Title for over 3 years becoming one of Canada's most successful boxers. Still based and fighting out of the local boxing gym in Kitchener things were difficult for the champ but "With Hope It's Possible"
The next few years passed and by 21 fights as a professional "THE WHIP" had put 3 belts around his waist. He became a sucessful boxer in Canada, but never got the recognition or money that he deserved.
One of his most cherished moments came in Oct 99 when he was blessed with a son, Tremain Fitzroy Vanderpool. Of all his numerous titles, that of father far outweighs all of his championship titles.
Continuing to be a high profile role model and athlete in the community, Fitz "The Whip" Vanderpool hosted the 1st annual Tri City Boxing Championship "The Battle For The Belt in Sept 2001. It was the first of its kind featuring local up and coming boxing champions, competing for the Tri City Championship Boxing Belt. It's purpose is to help develop our future young talented boxers. The goal being to get these kids fights, experience and exposure to further their careers.
As the World Boxing Council's #1 contender, the W.B.C's CABOFE Champion , Kitchener Waterloo's most celebrated boxer Fitz "THE WHIP" Vanderpool did it again. On Jan 6th 03 The Whip Boxing Academy opened it's doors to the public. Kitchener's Carl Zehr (Mayor)was present to cut the ribbon for the Grand Opening, and Mike Galloway (City Councillor) was also present.
In October 2003 at Kitchener City Hall Fitz "The Whip" Vanderpool was awarded the Gerry Beckner Award for Outstanding Contribution to Fire Safety. Fitz was the 3rd recipient of this prestigious award.
May 22nd 2004, after almost a year out of action Fitz "The Whip" went to Mexico to Fight Marco Rubio for the W.B.C. International 154lb Title. The hard punching Rubio (17-0-1) was too much for Fitz and the fight was halted by the referee in the first round.
Canada Day 2004 The Whip Boxing Academy was invited to join 105.3 KOOL FM at Sportsworld to bring awareness to local charitable organizations. KOOL FM's Jay Nijhaus was present to help promote different events and competitions as the boxers wowed the crowd with their heavy bag and speed ball demonstrations. Some students showed great speed and coordination hitting the hand pads, while others were masterful with the skipping rope.
Canada Day marked the start of a one month trial membership to The Whip Boxing Academy for our most underappreciated workers, Police, Firefighters and E.M.S. workers. On behalf of Youth Unlimited and The Whip Boxing Academy: "We appreciate you!"
August 2004 at Victoria Park in Kitchener The Whip Boxing Academy was representing boxing for Kids Sport Fun Zone. It was a fun filled day for kids to try out different sports.
The return of The Whip, April 6th 2005, saw Fitz once again step into the ring, after an 11 month lay off. This time it was to fight for the W.B.C. 154lb title against Marco Avendano. It was the Shaw Festivals 20th Anniversary and Fitz "The Whip" Vanderpool was chosen to headline the boxing event.
On May 16th 2005, Fitz was nominated as a Boxing Ontario Legends Ring of Fame finalist for 2005.
On October 7th 1996 at the opening ceremonies for Fire Prevention Week. Fitzroy Vanderpool was officially proclaimed an International Fire Safety Ambassador. As a chosen one he continues that worthwhile work with public service announcements and personal appearances.
Fitz has also taken a personal interest in the boxing program formed on the Indian Reserve in New Brunswick in the fall of 1997.
On February 8,1998 Fitz accepted an invitation to join the board of directors of the International Fire Safety Ambassadors.
On June 23,1999 Fitz was voted Kitchener Waterloo Civitans first ever Athlete of the Year for the year covering 1998.
Fitz has attended several schools to speak with kids about the importance of education and staying in school setting realistic goals in life and accomplishing them.
With the Tri Cities full of boxing talent and no boxing shows, Fitz "The Whip" started to host boxing shows. On September 22, 2001 The Whip Productions featured Kitchener Waterloo's future up and coming boxers.
On May 31,1998 at the Annual Convention of the Canadian Professional Boxing Federation in Nanaimo B.C. Fitz Vanderpool was named Canadian Boxer of The Year for 97-98.
In the spring of 1998 The Whip's on going efforts to make a difference took him to the offices of the Alcohol and Drug Association of Ontario where he joined forces with other high profile athletes in an attempt to steer youth toward a healthy life style free from drugs and alcohol. HIGH ON LIFE is their banner HIGH ON LIFE is their attitude.