Todd Nadon says he owes his boxing career to grit, perseverance, goal-setting and moral toughness. Don’t forget a pretty good left. Those attributes allowed Nadon to rise to ring glory and his remarkable career is representative of Windsor’s proud boxing tradition.
Nadon was born in Edmonton. He moved to Windsor at eight, having already begun boxing in Alexandria, Ontario, with his father as his first tutor. Locally, Nadon joined the Windsor Boxing Club and practiced under Jerry McCarthy. Nadon attended John McCrae Elementary School, Edith Cavell Junior High, and Brennan High School, before going on to the University of Windsor and the University of San Francisco.
The left-handed slugger received an education of a different sort across the river when he joined the famous Kronk Gym as a sparring partner for Tommy Hearns who needed Nadon’s help to prepare for Ron Roldan. The move to Detroit was essential for Nadon’s growth as a boxer. If Nadon was going to realize his potential, he had to put up his dukes against the better competition in Detroit. He was a pioneer of sorts at the Detroit-based gym, the first Canadian to fight under the Kronk banner. More valuable still, however, was that he studied under legend Emanuel Steward, who in his lifetime trained 41 world champion boxers. Nadon says Steward was the most influential person in his career, offering the young Windsorite open-access to one of the best minds in boxing, as well as a personal confidant that endured long after Nadon’s career had come to a close.
Nadon is the only Canadian fighter to hold the International Boxing Organization’s World Super Middleweight title when he won the belt in St. Louis in 1992. Nadon, for the crown, TKOed Willie Ball in the twelfth round in a rematch of their fight earlier that year that Ball had won on decision. Nadon’s opportunity for revenge happened by accident when Ball’s initial opponent injured his hand in a sparring session. Nadon got the call as a replacement only three weeks before the fight but his readiness and preparation were beyond anything Ball could have anticipated. The pugnacious Nadon sent the champ to the canvas in the sixth, the ninth and twelfth rounds to capture the belt. Aside from marrying his wife, it remains the happiest day in Nadon’s life.
The southpaw vigorously defended his home turf, going 4-0-1 in Windsor matches. All told, Nadon finished his professional boxing career with a 14-5-1 record, knocking out six foes, and boxing a total of 106 rounds.
Nadon’s stellar professional career followed an impressive run as an amateur boxer. In the years between 1972 and 1988, Nadon captured five US Golden Gloves tournament crowns. He was also selected to fight for his country at the 1988 Seoul Olympics but was unable to participate due to an injury. In retirement, Nadon is a metals trader and involved in large demolition projects in Canada. Although he no longer earns a living in the ring, boxing is still in his blood. He volunteers in Edmonton and Vancouver, teaching kids the sport that gave him so much.
A true champion throughout his boxing career and for that reason, the Windsor / Essex County Sports Hall of Fame is proud to place Todd Nadon into the hall among the other boxing greats from the area, in the Athlete category.