by Gautham Nagesh
WASHINGTON, D.C.—It started almost 20 years ago in a storage room at Lincoln Multicultural Middle School in Northwest Washington. A friend told Barry Hunter the school had set aside a small space for boxing. Hunter, a carpenter by trade, agreed to pitch in, dug out his old equipment, and headed over to share his lifelong passion: the Sweet Science.
“I didn’t go to stay, I went to help a little bit.” said an emotional Hunter on Thursday at Bald Eagle Recreation Center in Ward 8. But once he met the kids and saw their need, he couldn’t walk away.
“The ride I got on, I couldn’t get off.”
So Hunter stayed to teach the kids boxing, and more than anything, to show them that someone cared. There have been plenty of ups and downs since, from training world champions and amateur stars, to skipping a national tournament and using the funds raised to pay for a kid’s funeral.
But few days could be better than today, when the District of Columbia finally repaid Barry Hunter by opening the new Dr. Arnold McKnight Boxing Annex. The magnificent 6,600-sq. ft. facility is attached to the Bald Eagle Rec Center, one of the original homes of Hunter’s acclaimed Headbangers Boxing Program, which has produced 100 national amateur championships, two professional world titlists, and saved countless young men and women from the wrong path.
by Gautham Nagesh
The big news today from Ring Magazine’s Lem Satterfield: DC fight fans enthralled by December’s slugfest between Lamont Peterson (left) and Amir Khan won’t have to wait another 18 years for championship boxing to return to the DMV. It looks like rising local featherweight Gary Russell Jr. will return to action June 30 at the Verizon Center. The news is music to the ears of local fight aficianados hoping DC would capitalize on momentum from the Khan-Peterson fight.
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told Lem they have the Verizon Center on hold and are working with local attorney Jeff Fried to finalize the card. While Lamont is tied up in a May 19th rematch with Khan in Las Vegas, his brother Anthony (right) would appear to be a leading candidate to fight in DC. He told me at last month’s presser that he’s planning to fight on the May 19th show, but an opponent hadn’t been found yet. Seth Mitchell is another possibility, if he’s willing to take a stay-busy fight so soon after his turn against Chazz Witherspoon on the undercard of Chad Dawson-Bernard Hopkins 2 on April 28.