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“Boxing saved my life,” said the 32-year-old, who competes as a 140-pound super-lightweight. “If not for boxing, I probably wouldn’t be alive. A lot of my friends — I call them friends but, when you’re young, everybody’s your friend — they’re dead.”
Ulysse speaks little of his parents’ divorce, except that he lived with his mother and was upset with his father. The split meant he became the man of the house, watching over his sister, three years younger. It might also have contributed to him seeking a mentor in Maciocia.
“Without knowing, I became a man,” he said. “I had to learn fast.”
A decorated amateur who reached the quarter-finals of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Ulysse spent three years on the Canadian team before turning pro, at 25, in 2014. His record is 18-2 with nine knockouts, although he suffered a 10-round unanimous decision loss in December to Ismael Barroso. A win would have earned Ulysse a world-title shot.