Move to Junction, boxing have helped Kirn succeed

By KENT MINCER

Parker Kirn knew he needed a different direction in life.

“I was getting in trouble,” he said.

Life on the Fort Peck Reservation in Poplar, Mont., was difficult and the prospects weren’t positive.

Enter Alex Trottier Jr., who’s helped the 16-year-old Kirn turn his life around.

Trottier came from Poplar. In fact, he knew Kirn’s father, who was a legendary high school athlete in his day. With the father no longer in the picture, Trottier, through the encouragement of others in Poplar, agreed to take Kirn and his sister under his wing.

“He told me he’d help me out if I’d come box for him,” Kirn said.

Trottier owns Impact Boxing in Grand Junction. From the outset, Trottier knew Kirn needed the direction and discipline that a gym can provide.

Within one week of Kirn moving to town last October, Trottier had him working out.

“He started teaching me the basics,’ Kirn said.

Like most young men growing up, Kirn had gotten into a youthful skirmish or two. He immediately learned that fighting and boxing are not the same.

“It’s a hundred percent different,” Kirn said.

“A fight lasts 15, 30 seconds, maybe a minute. Here you’ve got to plan. (A boxing match) keeps going. It’s way harder.”

Over 10 months of training, Kirn has lost 40 to 45 pounds. He boxes at 175 pounds.

“I’ve always been big (and) hefty,” he said. “Now I’m in good shape.”
In his brief career, Kirn has had two amateur bouts, both losses. In the first one, he lost to a fighter with 60 bouts under his belt.

“I had to experience it,” he said of actually competing in a match.

In his next bout, he took on an undefeated boxer 20 pounds heavier and lost a close decision.

Trottier said Kirn has the right attitude at the gym.

“He sets goals for himself,” Trottier said. “That’s one good thing about him.”

Trottier’s son, Alex III, has taken over the nightly training duties. Like his father, he sees a lot of potential.

“He’s got good power,” the younger Trottier said. “He fights with heart.”

Coming from a tough background on the reservation, “He’s got a lot to fight for,” Alex III said, adding, “He wants to listen; he wants to learn.”

The discipline Kirn has learned in the gym has carried over into other aspects of his life.

Kirn used to struggle in school but is now on track to graduate from Grand Junction High School in two years.

“I’d rather do (well) in school and box,” he said. “If I hadn’t gotten into boxing, I’d have probably never graduated.”

Beyond graduation, a career in boxing is on his list of goals.

“I will go pro,” he said.

The sport has given him a new lease.

“It made me a stronger person,” he said. “It’s what changed my life.”


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