The film opens with shots of boxers practicing while the narrator reads the rules of the annual Golden Gloves tournament. The tournament is Canada's elite amateur boxing competition and a win is required to enter the professional circuit and could even lead to the Olympic Games. Focusing on three men from Montreal aspiring to win the championship: Ronald and Arthur Jones, two unemployed English-speaking black men recently arrived from the United States and from a working-class family, and George Thibault, a French Canadian who works as a waiter in a bar. Each of them train in their own unique way; Jones in a yard in St. Henri and Thibault in a park. The young men talk about what drew them to this sport and their ambitions to escape poverty and obscurity by way of becoming a famous athlete.