Family photo of Abe, pointed out, coaching the 1976 Canadian Olympic team.
When you talk boxing, you often hear about "going the distance."
What does that mean?
Does it mean Mayweather-De La Hoya going 12 in Las Vegas in 2007?
Does it mean Balboa-Creed lasting 15 on the silver screen?
Or does it mean something new, something a man on the verge of his 95th birthday is redefining?
Born in 1919, Canadian boxer Abraham "Abe" Pervin threw his first punch in the ring in 1935. He moved to training fighters a couple decades later and, now 94 years old - and less than a month away from turning 95 - Abe has been certified as the oldest boxing coach by Guinness World Records.
"It feels great, I'm very honored to be recognized by Guinness World Records," Abe said. "I never expected it; what a wonderful surprise."
Abe continues to coach at the gym of Montreal's Interbox, maintaining a work schedule of 5-hour shifts: four days eac week for 12 months a year, he coaches men and women from 2-7 p.m. There, he supervises the gym's facilities, works the pads with both professional and amateur fighters, supervises the training programs of both the pros and novices, fills in subscriptions for the general public who join the gym, and still serves as an active member on Interbox's gym Board of Directors.
He also continues to share his wisdom outside the gym, having coached in the corner of professional female fighter Lucia Larcinese in a unanimous decision victory in her last fight on March 21.
"Abe is one of the few trainers who can work the floor with beginners, intermediate boxers and professional boxers," says Stephan Larouche, Director of Boxing Operations and head trainer for Interbox. "I have been working with Abe for most of my life. ...Abe is an integral part of our team."
Trying to keep up with Abe's accomplishments leaves one feeling like the business end of a speed bag session.
He was inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998. He coached the Canadian teams at the the 1975 Pan American Games and the 1976 Montreal Olympics, guiding two of his men to quarterfinal appearances at the latter. Abe has helped five professional boxers reach world champion status, and has trained legions of other pros to have made it out of the gyms of Quebec.
Abe takes a photo break at Interbox.
"Knowing the demands of working a professional career, I can personally say that what Mr. Pervis has accomplished at his age is truly incredible," says Russ Anber, president/CEO of Rival Boxing Gear.
As Abe continues to coach and train, his record will only grow with each passing day, adding line after line to an already tremendous and lengthy chapter of his life.
In a 2011 feature on Abe in The Montreal Gazette, he told the reporter that he had no plans to stop coaching any time soon, a promise he's kept for three more years and counting.
And why stop - when it's obvious that the only thing that matches what Abe means to the sport, is what the sport means to him.
"I love working with young people, I love meeting people and travelling," Abe said. "Being a coach all these years has kept me active - and kept me alive."
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