Maple Ridge boxing icon passes away

Maple Ridge boxing coach and youth mentor John Skanks died on Monday at the age of 85.

John Skanks

John Skanks

Maple Ridge boxing coach and youth mentor John Skanks died on Monday at the age of 85.

Skanks is best known as the founder and head coach of the Maple Ridge Boxing Club.

He and his wife Carol would open the boxing club twice a week, and he trained fighters who competed internationally, with a focus on developing character.

He was a onetime brawler and then a competitive boxer who became the executive director of Boxing B.C.

“There’s something about this game, it makes a gentleman of you,” Skanks said.

He has been inducted in to the Ridge Meadows Hall of Fame, won B.C. Boxing’s Harold Mann Lifetime Achievement Award, was Citizen of the Year in 1995

A celebration of life will be held today at the Maple Ridge Funeral Chapel, 11969-216th St. at 4 p.m., followed by a reception at the boxing club at 11925 Haney Pl.