SURREY â€” Tony "Kid Fire" Pep is considered one of the best boxers to come out of Western Canada and now, one of his boxing students is looking to make a short docufiction film of Pep’s journey as a pro.
Mehdi Nowroozi – who is producing, co-writing and directing the proposed film – launched a Kickstarter campaign a few weeks ago in hopes of getting the public to fund the project.
The producer-director decided to make it a 30-minute film that would be part documentary, part drama using flashbacks to talk about the boxer’s tough upbringing and journey through his career.
Nowroozi made a teaser for the public to gain support for the project. So far, the campaign has raised more than $2,600, but the goal is $34,000, and if he doesn’t raise it all, he will get none of the donations. Nowroozi has set a deadline of Dec. 14.
Pep’s proudest moment is fighting a full 10-round bout against one of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers of all time, Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr.
Pep lost the fight by unanimous decision, but it was only the second time a boxer took "Pretty Boy" Floyd the distance.
"It’s good to hear (I fought him for 10 rounds), but you want to hear, ‘I beat him,’" he admitted.
Pep, who went 43-10-1 as a pro, now trains young boxers out of several local gyms, including at Team Bad Boy Outreach in Whalley – a boxing and martial arts gym for at-risk youth.
Mayweather, who’s undefeated, currently holds the WBC world welterweight and super welterweight titles as well as the WBA world welterweight and world super welterweight titles.
Pep has held such titles as IBO world lightweight champion, WBF world super featherweight champion, Commonwealth super featherweight champion and Canadian lightweight and featherweight champion.
Pep grew up fatherless and lost his mother to drug overdose when he was 13 years old.
Pep ran away from every foster home the ministry put him in, but he was found at school. The ministry made him a ward of the court, and gave him his own apartment and food vouchers as long as he continued to go to school.
"When I was done school, I missed it. I used to dream about high school," said Pep. "My friends were my family back then."
A fter boxing at Hastings Gym for six years, he turned pro at 17. Pep said he "probably shouldn’t have" done this – he said the people who were around him at the time didn’t have his best interests at heart.
He fought three times as a minor and was never paid for them because people
knew his housing and food was taken care of. Pep remembers one instance where he was given a pound of hamburger meat as a substitute for his wages.
Anyone looking to make a pledge to the Kid Fire campaign will receive something in return based on the size of the contribution, whether it’s a digital download of the film or a training session with Pep himself.
To see the teaser or to make a donation, visit the Kid Fire Kickstarter page here.