Former Boxer Punches Black Bear in the Face

If there were an awards for the most bad ass outdoorsman it would undoubtedly be given to Rick Nelson. The 61-year-old former boxer slugged a black bear with an uppercut. 

Nelson told the CBC he was walking his dog Sunday afternoon in a wooded area outside Ontaria when he came across a bear cub. Suddenly the mother was charging him, so he did what any former prize fighter would do and resorted to his boxing instincts.

He had no rocks or sticks, but he did have his fists. So he swung at the bear and caught her teeth. Then the bear swung back and scratched him across the chest and face. Remarkably, Nelson had the presence of mind to consider the fight like it was a boxing match.

“I knew it would swing first with its left but it would really come with its right, because most bears are right-handed,” Nelson told the CBC. With that in mind he took another shot. 

“I had the perfect shot to take. I did an underhand and hit it right in the snout,” he said. 

And from there, the fight apparently de-escalated and the cub moved away. He said the mother bear was snorting blood. 

“Now it was the moment of truth. What’s this bear going to do? Is it going to follow its cub or is it going to come after me?” he said. “[The mother bear] turned around and it was snorting blood. It looked at me, and I thought, ‘Oh no. Here it comes… But it just turned back around and walked away like nothing ever happened and followed the cub,” Nelson said. “So I really lucked out there.”

Photo credit: CBC