Taking cognizance of the spate of violence that has made Indianapolis one of the nation’s most dangerous cities, boxing entities are taking steps to help alleviate the problem. Their programs are designed to remove youngsters from the streets and into boxing gyms.
That is exactly the modus operandi of Lamon Breser, a 1991 Washington High School graduate. If the name sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because he is a full-fledged former world heavyweight champion who, after winning the Indiana Golden Gloves tournament, moved to California to find opportunities as a pro boxer. In Hoosierland they were scarce to none.
Brewster, who knocked out Wladimir Klitschko in 2004 for the WBO version of the heavyweight crown, heads 4Champs Promotions, which will stage its first session of a summer boxing tournament at 6:15 p.m. Friday at Tyndall Armory, 711 N. Pennsylvania St.. The tourney will continue on the first Friday of each month through September.
“After winning the Gloves I discovered there was no incentive to keep me returning to the gym,” pointed out Brewster, who won the championship in 1993. “We were trained, then kicked back onto the streets with the dropouts and the gangs. With our promotions and others in Indy, as well as the Region and southern Indiana, that will change.”
Facing that dilemma now is Wes Ramey, whose Top Level Boxing Club at Madison and Thompson Road produced some of the best boxers in the recent Golden Gloves.
“It’s hard to keep the kids interested in training without a goal,” Ramey said. “A boxing show a month is a help, but we need more. While teaching how to follow a jab with a right cross, we’re teaching life skills. Discipline and responsibility are stressed. Citizenship is being taught in the gyms, not out in the streets. I guarantee that a nonboxer will see a buddy fight Friday night and wind up coming to a gym.”
The program is also supported by Sims Boxing Gym on the Eastside, which enlisted 28 youngster during the program’s first week.
Friday’s card features eight bouts, including the one between welterweights Joe Hughes (4-0) and Clifford McPherson (2-1) of Greenwood. Slated for their first pro bouts are three-time Gloves champ David McGordan and six-time Gloves king Malcoln Jones. Tickets are $25, $35 and $40.