Life is a dream for light heavyweight Canadian Metis boxing champion Ralph “Junior” Moar. Fresh from a recent victory defending his title against Micheal Walchuck in Winnipeg on October 12, Junior “The Real Deal” Moar (age 35) is pouring over scripts for his upcoming biopic tentatively entitled “The Champion.” Filmmaker Maurice Smith expects to be shooting early next summer in Winnipeg and Ontario. “I’ve been working on this for about a year now,” said Moar. “[Smith] came to the gym and sought me out. My friend Gino Odjick [former Vancouver Canuck enforcer] told him about me and said ‘You got to do a movie about this guy; you can’t make this stuff up.’”
Smith, a Hollywood veteran of more than 30 movies, said production will cost about $4.5 million and compared Moar’s boxing career with the movies Raging Bull and Rocky. He described Moar’s story as the small time local boy does good. “You gotta like the little guy. A lot of times, chance ends up creating reality” said Smith. He hopes to complete the film in time to premiere at the American Film Market in L.A. and the Cannes Film Festival. Moar said the movie will focus on his early life as a young man in the gang and penitentiary and his rise back to boxing acclaim. “I really hope this movie can make it in the mainstream,” said Moar.
Moar’s life story has been described as “the greatest comeback of all time” by renowned sports writer Lou Eisen. Moar grew up in in the rough poor section of Winnipeg’s east end and played hockey, like so many other Canadian youth. He involved himself in boxing enjoyed a lengthy amateur career with an astounding record of 128-17. By 18 years of age, Moar won the Canadian amateur middleweight championship and was named the Boxer of the Year by the Canadian Amateur Boxing Association.
Moar fell from grace in the boxing world when members of the notorious Zig Zag Crew, an affiliate of the Hells Angels, started hanging out at the gym where he worked out. Moar was drawn into the gang culture, drinking heavily, doing drugs, and even packing a gun. His fading boxing stardom came to an abrupt end when he was arrested on December 12, 1990 for the shooting of a rival gang member outside his home in Winnipeg. The bullet bounced off the metal of the car, just grazing a 15 yr. old gang member in the ear.
With two prior convictions for assault and theft, the court gave Moar a mandatory four year sentence at the medium-security Stoney Mountain Institution in Winnipeg. “I felt like my life was over,” he recalled in a 2007 interview with Richmond News. “I was so depressed, I did nothing… it was horrible. I’d wake up every morning and couldn’t believe I was in jail.” While in jail, Moar went from a svelte 168 lbs to a massive 250 lbs. Then some of his former gang buddies tried to implicate Moar on new charges. Though the charges didn’t stick, he was placed in solitary confinement for his own protection for 27 months.
Seven months into his sentence, Moar’s younger brother Michael, who was with him the night of the shooting, died of leukemia on July 1, 2001. It was a major turning point in Junior’s life and career that invoked some serious soul-searching. “I honestly prayed to God to give me another chance, and if he did, I would resurrect my boxing career,” said Moar. Soon after his release, Moar moved to the west coast with his fiancee to get away from the gang lifestyle.
One of his greatest moments as a professional boxer came when he first became Canada’s new light heavyweight champion when he defeated Abdullah Ramadan, 40, of Toronto, in the sixth round at the River Rock Casino in Richmond on June 19, 2009. In attendance was his ailing father Ralph Sr., who had recently suffered a heart attack at the time. Though Ramadan was disqualified for low blows in the sixth, Moar took the victory in stride. “It’s not the way I wanted to win the belt, but a win’s a win,” said Moar. Stepping out of the ring, Moar hugged his father, saying, “This one’s for you Dad.”
Moar calls himself “The Real Deal” after his favourite boxer five-time world heavy weight champion Evander Holyfield and recently realized a life-long dream meeting another of his childhood heroes, Canada’s greatest heavyweight George Chuvalo. These days, Moar works out six hours a day at the Burnaby Boxing Club and spends his free time as a role model for disadvantaged Aboriginal teens in the downtown eastside of Vancouver.
On November 28th, Moar will fly to Los Angles to sign a deal with Goldenboy Promotions, the world’s leading boxing promotion organization, to advance his boxing career on the international stage. “I might be world champion before I’m done,” said Moar. “I have about a year to go [in pro boxing] before I’m done.”