Russ Anber Talks Struggle In Making ‘Rival’ Boxing Business Giant
The 61-year-old has been in the business for 20 years.
When Anthony Joshua clinched his first major title as a professional from Charles Martin in 2016, very little was known of the gear he was wearing that night. But slowly it became a household name, gaining immense popularity worldwide in no time.
Russ Anber, owner and president of Rival Boxing Gear, shares how he took his local brand Rival to the heights at which it is today.
The Montreal-based Anber was a well-renowned pugilist trainer and had no interest in starting a business out of his boxing passion. But the lack of funds for running his gym forced him to look for other means.
And exactly 20 years ago, he came up with the idea of starting a business trade that suited both him and his desire. And it was when he received his first order of $2,000 order from a Pakistan-based manufacturer.
Soon, he realized that an independent venture would be more fruitful in long term.
“I realized the customers were buying from me,” said Anber, 61. “They trusted my time in the sport.”
Anber recalls how the former two-time heavyweight champ, Anthony Joshua wearing his product opened a new door of opportunity for his brand and helped him gain success worldwide.
“We didn’t even know Joshua then,” Anber said. “He tried the gloves on and liked them”.
Rival is one of the boxing gear lines that doesn’t spend money persuading the professionals to wear their gear. Rather, they believe in providing a quality product to its consumers
“That’s been our motto to this day. They wear them because they want to wear them. They like them. It says a lot about the integrity of the company and of me. It’s incredible. I couldn’t have said 20 years ago this would happen,” Anber added.
The IBF, WBO, WBA and Ring Magazine heavyweight champ, Oleksander Usyk has been donning Rivals robes for his all bouts in the ring all this while.
To add to that list, top-ranked lightweight Vasiliy Lomachenko, and Montreal light-heavyweight champ Artur Beterbiev are the other notable names preferring Anber’s company gloves over the others for their respective fights.