* Discovered future world boxing heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis
* Founded the Waterloo Regional Boxong Academy in 1947
* Was committed to making our community a better place
1917 - 1981
Jerome "Hook" McComb was not just a police officer and boxing coach, he was also a mentor. This is easily seen in the eyes of those who speak so highly of him today. Back in 1947, Hook started the Waterloo Regional Boxing Academy and ran it out of the Police Station on Frederick Street in Kitchener.
Throughout the years, he helped many kids who were in trouble with the law and at times he even went to court to assure the judges that he would supervise these young men and ensure they stayed on the right path. And that he did. Hook’s success is seen locally with boxers like Heinz Limpert, Canadian Heavyweight Champ, Ray Doiron, New York and Ontario Golden Gloves Champion and Bobby Proulx, who after a successful amateur career, went on to fight Sugar Ray Leonard.
Lennox Lewis is perhaps the most well known boxer from Kitchener, and is one that did not escape Hook’s trained eye. When Lennox walked up to Hooks gym at the age of 12, Hook commented to Arnie Boehm, “now that’s a champion”. Hook knew that with some hard work and guidance this young boy had a future as a boxer.
That was Hook’s approach with all these young men – individualized attention and lots of hard work. He was committed to these young men and this community in order to make it a better place. Hook taught these young men about integrity, courage and respect, and although Hook passed away in 1981, his lessons still live through his legend and those who long to keep him alive. Following his passing McComb left assistant and long time friend Arnie Boehm at the helm.
Since taking over the WRBA from the late Jerome "Hook" McComb in 1981, Arnie Boehm produced an Olympic Gold medalist in Lennox Lewis along with three other Olympians, a Junior World Champion, 25 National Champions and 60 Provincial Champions.
Starwalk.ca is proud to remember the life and contributions of Jerome "Hook" McComb.