From left, JoCorbi Harris, Deontae Garrett and William Townsel, all of the Pine Bluff Boxing Club, are scheduled to compete in tonight’s matches at Seabrook Family Christian Center. (Pine Bluff Commercial/I.C. Murrell)
Quincy Means would love the opportunity to showcase his skills in tonight’s Boxing at Seabrook event.
He will if anyone wants to take him on.
“No one’s been wanting to fight me,” he said Friday. “I guess they’re afraid of me.”
Means finished in the top eight of his weight class at last year’s Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, so it’s understandable why some boxers might fear Means. But his teammates on the Pine Bluff Boxing Club are looking forward to putting on a show for the locals tonight at Seabrook Family Christian Center.
Fights begin at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under.
PBBC coach Scott Ladd is hoping for a total of 20 fights. He’s expecting visiting amateur boxers from around the state and Oklahoma to compete.
“They should see a lot of talent,” Ladd said. “This is like a ‘smoker’ to keep them in tune and prepare them for regionals.”
Five of Ladd’s boxers have their spots in the April 11-13 regional tournament at the North Little Rock Community Center, so they’re using tonight’s event as a tune-up. The regional tournament is a qualifier for the Tournament of Champions, Golden Gloves’ national championship event scheduled for May in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“If I fight someone with experience and win, I know I will win regionals,” said William Townsel, 18, the 178-pound state champion from the PBBC.
Townsel has only been training for eight months, but he said it’s been lots of training. He said he wants to see where his game is in tonight’s event.
“Hopefully I find someone as talented as me,” he said.
Townsel and JoCorbi Harris, 17, both of whom play football at Watson Chapel High School, say they were talked into joining the PBBC by their classmate Aterion Terry. All three now have state titles — Harris at 201 pounds and Terry at 125.
Townsel and Harris box to prepare themselves for the football season and just for the enjoyment of boxing.
“As a defensive end, I’ve got to work my hands to come off blocks,” Harris said. “I hope I show people the power I’ve got and the way I move.”
Mason Wickett is the other regional qualifier from the club. He won in the 141-pound class after his opponent was disqualified.
Many of the PBBC fighters have trained for three years or less, so Ladd is often asked how they get to be so successful in a short amount of time. He doesn’t let some boxers compete until they’ve had about two years of experience, so they won’t lose their confidence early on.
“Some people might think we put gun powder in them or something,” Ladd said. “I guess they’re just natural athletes. We emphasize a lot of sparring.”
Each fight tonight is three rounds of 1 to 3 minutes, depending on skill level. The event will be sanctioned by USA Boxing, the governing body for Olympic-style amateur boxing.