Sneak Peak at 15yr. Old Amateur Standout Lorenzo “Truck” Simpson

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A fifteen year-old amateur boxing standout from Baltimore, Maryland, Simpson has won seven national championships, and is a 2020 Olympic hopeful.
 
Lorenzo Demetrius Simpson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 15, 2000. He is an American amateur boxer, and attends St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, where he is a ninth grade high school basketball student-athlete. Simpson resides with his family in Owings Mills, Maryland. He has an older brother, Maurice, and a younger brother, Donte. Simpson’s story serves as an inspiration for people who have endured significant adversity and continue to pursue their goals.

In July 2004, the Simpson family endured a tragedy. While four year-old Simpson was at school, his father, Lorenzo Dante Simpson, was murdered during a daytime home invasion. After the death of his father, Simpson had several altercations in school and was regularly finding himself in trouble.. His mother, Danica (Carroll) Ward, thought that a positive solution would be to involve her son in organized sports. She signed him up to play basketball with his older brother, Maurice, at the John Eager Howard Recreational Center, and later, at the Chick Webb Recreation Center. He enjoyed playing basketball, and it helped him deal with the loss of his father.

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Simpson’s uncle is former professional boxer and heavyweight world champion, Hasim Rahman, Sr. After noticing that Simpson showed interest in watching Rahman’s fights, his stepfather, Courtlon Ward, took him to Upton Boxing Center in Baltimore.

Although he was too young to train, he watched for hours while other boxers trained. When he arrived home each evening, he practiced what he observed in the gym. When he was eight years old, he began training with boxing coaches Calvin Ford, Mack Allison, and Kenny Ellis. Allison is credited with giving him a nickname that described the shape of his head, “Truck.” In 2011, tragedy struck again, when his older boxing teammate, Ronald T. Gibbs (known as “Rock”), was stabbed to death. Later that week, ten year-old Simpson won his first National Silver Gloves Championship. He won the National PAL Championship in 2011 and 2012. In 2015, Simpson won his fifth consecutive National Silver Gloves Championship.

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Simpson competes at welterweight (147 lbs), and has compiled an outstanding amateur boxing record of 102 wins and one defeat. He has fought nationally in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. He has traveled to many of the same states for basketball tournaments and camps. During the 2013-2014 football season, Simpson was a slot receiver and running back for City Springs Middle School in Baltimore. He elected not to play football during the 2014-2015 season, but doesn’t rule out playing again in the future. During the 2014-2015 basketball season, Simpson played point guard for the St. Francis Junior Varsity team.

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This year, he made the honor roll at St. Frances Academy. Simpson takes his education seriously, and plans to finish high school with a high grade point average. His future plans include attending college, becoming a 2020 Olympic boxing gold medalist, and a world champion professional boxer.
 
Follow Simpson on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LorenzoTruckSimpson
Follow Simpson on Instagram: @Lorenzo_Simpson or https://instagram.com/lorenzo_simpson
Follow Simpson on Twitter: @Lorenzo_Simpson or https://twitter.com/Lorenzo_Simpson

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Photo Credits: Trevor Holman/@HolmanPhotos

Forgotten Classics: Derrick Jefferson vs Maurice Harris

By: Steve Gallegos

When was the last time you saw a good, knockdown, Heavyweight brawl. You might have to scratch your head and think hard about that one. How about we go back towards the end of the 20th century when two up-and-coming heavyweights slugged it out before having the fight come to a close with a spectacular ending. That fight was between DerrickD-TrainJefferson and MauriceMo BettahHarris.

In 1999, the Heavyweight division was in very good standing. The Heavyweight Championship of the World still ranked strong as one of the biggest titles in all of sports, if not the biggest. Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis were close to unifying all three major heavyweight titles and there were a class of young, up-and-coming heavyweights waiting for their chance in the spotlight. Michael Grant, Chris Byrd, David Tua, and Hasim Rahman were among that class; Derrick Jefferson and Maurice Harris were hoping to join that class as well.

Derrick Jefferson was a late bloomer in the sport as he began boxing at age 24. His main focus was on playing basketball as he stood at 6″5; however his basketball dreams were cut short after being shot in the leg. He then turned to boxing and had a successful 3 year amateur career in which he won a national title. Jefferson turned pro in 1995 and would go 21-0-1 in his first 22 bouts, 17 by KO. He was a fighter who loved to brawl and go for the KO, which made him a very fan friendly attraction.

Maurice Harris would take a much different path into the sport. He only had a handful of amateur bouts before turning pro at the very young age of 16. He was also a very tall fighter as he stood at 6″4. He turned pro in 1992 as a way to bring in some income and would learn his craft on the job the hard way, going 7-8-2 in his 1st 17 bouts. Harris improved though, and he would go on a very successful run from 1997-1999, winning nine out of ten bouts, including some big wins over James Thunder and Jeremy Williams. He also lost a very close, disputed split decision to the legendary, former Heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. He gained some valuable experience during this time as he regularly sparred with both Lennox Lewis and Roy Jones Jr. His record at the time he met up with Jefferson was 16-9-2 and Jim Lampley of HBO complimented Harris by saying there wasn’t a better 16-9 fighter out there.

Jefferson and Harris met on 11/06/99 at the Atlantic City Convention in Atlantic City, NJ as the co-feature of an HBO Boxing After Dark heavyweight doubleheader. The first round got off to a good start for both men as they stood toe to toe and both landed good hard shots. In the second, Jefferson put Harris down with a sensational left hook. Jefferson would go on the attack and would put Harris on the canvas again; however Harris would get up and turn the tide only seconds later as he dropped Jefferson with a right hand. The round would end with both men slugging it out on the ropes. Larry Merchant of HBO called that round the best round of Heavyweight boxing probably since Bowe vs Holyfield.

In the third, Harris controlled the pace of much of the round with a good body attack, as well as right hands up stairs; however Jefferson turned the tide towards the end of the round with a lethal right uppercut that knocked Harris‘ mouthpiece out. Harris was wobbled and almost out; however he caught a break when referee Steve Smoger called timeout to put the mouthpiece back in. The break saved Harris from a knockout.

The fourth and fifth rounds were fought at a slower pace as both men appeared to be winded after going all out in the first three rounds; however there were still some good moments of action. In the sixth, Jefferson began focusing strictly on the body and put Harris down again with a series of body shots. Harris once again got up and wobbled Jefferson in return; however in the middle of Harris‘ rally, Jefferson landed a lethal left hook that put Harris down for good. When the shot landed, it sent Harris‘ mouthpiece flying and Harris fell back just like a tree being chopped down. Referee Steve Smoger didn’t bother to count and the fight was officially ended at 2:52 of the sixth round and the fight was voted as Ring Magazine’s Knockout of 1999.

At the time of the KO, Larry Merchant yelled out “Derrick Jefferson, I love you”. Prior to the bout, Jefferson was determined to impress because he wanted to fight on HBO regularly and HBO would bring him back three times over the next two years; however those two years weren’t kind to him as he would lose all three fights by KO to David Izon, Oleg Maskaev, and Wladimir Klitschko. He would go 5-1 after the Klitschko fight before retiring in 2005 with a record of 28-4-1 with 21 KO’s.

Maurice Harris would continue fighting for the next eight years, still gaining national exposure from time to time based on his exciting fighting style. He would be inactive from 2007-2010 before making a comeback. He would go 9-7-1 from 2000-2012. His record as a professional stands at 25-17-2 with 11 KO’s. Jefferson and Harris put on the best heavyweight fight to end the 20th Century and there haven’t been many heavyweight fights that have come close to matching this one. It’s unfortunate that many heavyweights don’t possess the fire and willingness to give it their all and leave it all inside the ring like these two did.

Golden Gloves Promoter Sends Warning to Gennady Golovkin

As the date of Gennady Golovkin’s title fight in Monte Carlo looms, Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman has issued a stark warning to the WBA and IBO middleweight champion: “Underestimate Nobuhiro Ishida at your peril.”

Unbeaten Golovkin makes his seventh title defence against the Japanese, who is considered an underdog against one of the world’s best fighters, in Monaco on March 30.

Berman’s fighters have a remarkable knack of upsetting the odds, none more impressive than Corrie Sanders who stopped heavy favourite Wladimir Klitschko in two rounds for the WBO heavyweight title 10 years ago.
The late Sanders was a prohibitive underdog, but he stunned the doubters with the performance of his life.

Berman also promoted the heavyweight championship fight when Lennox Lewis was knocked cold by unheralded Hasim Rahman inside five rounds in 2001.

One of Berman’s earliest world championship promotions saw unbeaten Olympic champion Kennedy McKinney derailed by little-known South African Vuyani “The Beast” Bungu for the IBF super-bantamweight title. Ring Magazine named it 1994’s Upset of the Year.
“I must admit, it’s a bit freakish, which is why I learned long ago never to underestimate anyone in boxing,” said Berman. “Some of the least likely boxers go on to do great things.”

Another such example occurred in 1996 when Sugarboy Malinga, who had lost nine fights, was matched with ferocious puncher Nigel Benn for the WBC super-middleweight title. Few gave Malinga a chance, but he captured a split decision in Benn’s UK backyard.

Berman was again the mastermind when former lightweight champion Dingaan Thobela knocked out Glenn Catley to win the WBC super-middleweight title 13 years ago. It was an extraordinary upset that demonstrated Thobela’s power.
Africa’s greatest promoter was again on hand when low-key Phillip Holiday challenged vaunted Miguel Julio for the vacant IBF lightweight title in 1995. The Colombian was on a run of 27 stoppages, but this time it was Holiday who inflicted the stoppage, winning by TKO in the 10th against every expectation.
Ratanopol Sor Vorapin had made 10 defences of his IBF minimumweight title when he faced Zolani Petelo, another Golden Gloves star, in 1997.

Yet the tiny South African overwhelmed him, inflicting a fourth round stoppage.
“Complacency is every boxer’s biggest enemy – let this be a warning to Golovkin. Ishida will do him no favours,” said Berman.

Golovkin versus Ishida is the headliner on the “Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four” tournament that features four of the world’s best super-middleweight and light-heavyweight boxers, plus a clash for the European junior-middleweight title.