Posts tagged Barry Hunter

Opening Bell: Baltimore Featherweight Gervonta Davis Signs With Al Haymon


by Gautham Nagesh

Another day, another blue-chip DMV prospect is snapped up by boxing’s top talent wrangler, the shadowy Al Haymon. This time it’s Baltimore featherweight Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who joins locals Gary Russell Jr., Dominic Wade, Kareem Martin, and Thomas “Top Dawg” Williams Jr. in Haymon’s stable.

We’ve been telling anyone that will listen for years that the 19-year-old Davis might just be the most talented fighter in the Beltway region. An extremely skilled southpaw with a long, decorated amateur career, Davis turned professional last year after winning the National Golden Gloves title at 123 lbs. He has since run off six wins, all by stoppage, though he has yet to fight this year.


Fortunately, signing with Haymon means Gervonta will get every opportunity maximize his immense talent by linking up with the most influential camp in boxing. His next fight is scheduled for March 17 in Boston, on the undercard of a Fox Sports 1 show from Golden Boy. That card has extra interest because it will also feature the pro debut of the reigning Stiff Jab Amateur Boxer of the Year Kareem Martin.

Click through for more on both Martin and Davis:

Stiff Jab 2013 Amateur Boxer of the Year: Kareem Martin


Kareem Martin photos by Sarah Deming and Patrice Harris 

by Sarah Deming 

Stiff Jab has a special love for the fighters of D.C., so we didn’t need to think too hard about this one. Kareem Martin of the mighty Headbangers team was the best in his class domestically, sweeping the youth welterweight divisions of the 2013 National Championships and the PAL Nationals.

Martin also scored a big international win in the Klitschko Brothers Tournament, fending off fighters from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan. Just 18 years old, “Reemo” is quiet and shy outside the ring. Inside it, his patient punching style bears witness to hundreds of rounds of sparring with Lamont and Anthony Peterson.


(Left to right): Dwight Martin; Lamont Roach, Jr; Coach “Boogie” Harris of Headbangers; Kareem “Reemo” Martin; Coach Lamont Roach of NoXcuse

"He’s a beast. I call him The Hulk," says teammate Tiara Brown, a finalist for this year’s honor herself.

"He’s an outstanding young fighter and an all-around good kid. I believe he’s won 14 national titles," added trainer Barry Hunter. “I look forward to his future as a professional fighter.”

So do we. With his body-punching attack and international pedigree, Martin, Brown and Patrick Harris seem like good bets to continue the Headbangers tradition into the next generation. Martin credited hard work for all his success in 2013, and said he plans to turn pro this year. When he does, you can count on us being there.

Undefeated Boxer Dominic Wade Signs With Al Haymon


Dominic Wade & Barry Hunter photo by Anna John for 

by Gautham Nagesh 

Aside from making the U.S. Olympic team, the best thing a young boxer can do for their career these days is sign with shadowy talent manager and former concert promoter Al Haymon. Like most Harvard grads, Haymon probably gets more credit than he deserves, but there’s no denying his stacked roster of talent: Floyd Mayweather, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, and many of the sport’s rising stars. 

The latest name to join that list is Largo super middleweight Dominic Wade, (above) who joins fellow Maryland natives Seth Mitchell and Gary Russell Jr. as local members of Haymon’s stable. Wade is a member of the Headbangers team and trained by Barry Hunter, who also guides Lamont and Anthony Peterson, and Alantez Fox, among others.

"I can’t really speak on it too much right now. I just got a call, and we’ll see what is the next move. But I did sign, I definitely signed with [Haymon]," Wade told me on Saturday at ringside.

Preview: Lamont Peterson vs Kendall Holt At D.C. Armory


Photos by Anna John for

by Gautham Nagesh 

It has been a long time since we’ve seen that smile from D.C. junior welterweight Lamont Peterson (right).Since his last fight, a career-defining win over Amir Khan in December 2011Peterson has been forced to defend himself against allegations of PED use. He has spent over a year of his prime on the shelf, and has watched his name disappear from the rankings due to inactivity.

On Friday night, Peterson will return to the ring looking to re-establish himself as one of the top fighters in the world at 140 lbs. Peterson hopes to duplicate his previous appearance on ESPN, where he dominated lesser opposition to earn the Khan fight. A win over Kendall Holt at D.C. Armory would put Peterson back in the top-5, setting up a premium cable showdown with one of his Golden Boy stablemates. A loss would be a setback that might take years to overcome.

The House That Barry Hunter Built: New Headbangers Boxing Gym Opens In Ward 8

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.

Slideshow: Babie Girl Promotions

Photos by Anna John

August 4, 2012 card at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Featuring the professional debuts of Danny Kelly, David “Day Day” Grayton, Jerry Forrest, and Tyriesha Douglas. Plus Terron Grant, trainer Barry Hunter, and ring announcer Henry “Discombobulating” Jones.

Full report here.

Tony Thompson Ready For Rematch With Wladimir Klitschko

by Gautham Nagesh

WASHINGTON,D.C.—It will be different this time.

That was the prevailing message from local heavyweight contender Tony “The Tiger” Thompson during Monday’s media workout at Headbangers Gym in Southeast D.C. Thompson did his best to convince a small contingent of local fight writers that he has a shot to upset Wladimir Klitschko and win the heavyweight championship on July 7 in Berne, Switzerland.

Thompson has been here before; the fight comes almost four years to the day after he lost his previous shot against Klitschko by getting caught with a straight right in the 11th round. The stoppage has served as a reminder of just how potent the Ukrainian champ’s right hand can be. Thompson insists the punch is his primary concern going into the rematch.

Big Weekend For DMV Amateur Boxers

by Gautham Nagesh

The Sweet Science has experienced a resurgence in the DMV region recently, starting with Lamont Peterson’s huge upset of Amir Khan in December and continuing with standing-room crowds at the Washington Golden Gloves and Dusty Harrison’s recent outing at the Convention Center. This weekend is shaping up to be another big one for local fight fans, with two amateur cards showcasing some of the area’s brightest prospects.