This week I conducted a phone interview with rising middleweight Antoine “Action” Douglas of Washington, D.C. who is scheduled to fight his 6th fight of 2013 against seasoned veteran Ibahiem “The Almighty” King on June 14th at the Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange, N.J. as part of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Antoine has had to overcome a lot of adversity in life. Douglas grew up with two drug-addicted parents, both of them in and out of jail. He and his sister and two brothers were raised by aunts, uncles, cousins, and strangers in the foster care system.
His sister Tyrieshia also boxed amateur and has turned pro. The resilience he as shown in life demonstrates that he has the inner strength to go far in the tough game of boxing. Douglas as an amateur had a record of 85-30 and was a National PAL Champion, 2009 Jt. Olympic Champion as well as a Ringside World champion as well as placing third in the Olympic trials, recently signed with managers Bill Mielnicki and Kay Korona and with promoter Greg Cohen. Douglas recently moved his training to the Elite Heat Boxing Gym in Newark, New Jersey and is excited about the future. This will be his 3rd scheduled six round fight. Unfortunately for his opponents his previous 2 scheduled for six rounds were knocked out in two and one rounds respectively.
Q-What got you into the sport of boxing?
A- What began me in boxing was my cousin Patrick, he had boxed as an amateur a long time ago when he was a child. Me and my brother just two young knuckleheads were headed in the wrong direction. He saw the sport of boxing as a means to install discipline and he took us to his gym and that’s where it began.
Q-You had a sterling amateur career. Did you know right away that eventually you would turn pro? What was the motivator to enter the pro ranks?
A- The motivator was my family. I wanted to do it for my family to put my family in a better position. When I was an amateur boxer a lot of coaches and other fighters told me that I would be a great pro. So that is what motivated me to go pro. I knew I could excel in the pros as well as the amateurs there was no question in that after the amateurs there would be a pro career for me.
Q-How did you meet up with your promoter Greg Cohen? You know you
A- I met up with Greg through Vito Mielnicki and I hooked up with him through my Uncle and coach Kay Korana. My Uncle and Vito travel together for amateur events and have a great repoire. My Uncle introduced me to Vito. Vito brought me to Greg and he became my promoter.
Q-You have really fast tracked your career in 2013 with 6 fights so far in this year. Also two fights in the last two months of 2012 beginning with your pro debut on October 27, 2012. Will this pace continue?
A- That’s what we hope. This is boxing and as all beginning boxers know it’s sometimes easier said than done. We all want to start fast but it is not as easy as it seems. It just so happens that I have been blessed with the right team and the right coach for these opportunities to be made possible for me.
Q-Do you know anything about your opponent Ibahiem King? He has the experience of 19 fights compared to your 7.
A- Yes he does have nineteen professional fights which are more than my seven. But I think my amateur experience outweighs that
Q-Ibahiem King is a southpaw have you trained any differently for this style?
A- This is my first southpaw in the professional ranks. I have made a few adjustments in training worked on a few things. And of course I’ve been sparring with a few southpaws so I’m familiar with the opposition to get ready for this fight
A-I’d take a knockout. I ‘m fast and quick and move a lot more. I’ll see what will work for me
Q-I’ve read on the Net that you and your brothers and sisters did not have an easy life growing up. Care to comment on how it affected you as a person and athlete. How you have taken the high road to boxing achievements.
A- Growing up my family couldn’t be there like they would have liked to. Yes, it was a rough life with my Mother suffering from addiction, being separated from my family, and in foster care system. All of that, I don’t regret any of it because it made me into the person that I am today. Actually, I appreciate it more than anything. If wasn’t for all of that I don’t know where my mind would be at right now. Because of that I am so grateful to be where I am now. For the people I love I don’t want to see them go through what I have been through that’s why I am pushing so hard to be as successful as I can.
Q- Outside of boxing tell me a bit about yourself, your interests, and spare time activities
A- Outside of boxing I do what any other guy gets into. I like to play video games, I like social networking, I like to write poetry, I like to hang out, I like going to the movies just like any other regular guy. A lot of people look at me as just a big kid. I just like to have fun.
Q- Your Sister Tyrieshia also has boxes do you train with her in anyway?
A- Not actually, when we can we do. She stays in Baltimore and I stay in Virginia. We both visit our mom. And we sometimes wake up in the morning and jog and shadowbox. But other than that we really don’t train together. We plan things but due to our boxing schedule we can’t always get together.
Q-This next question you must answer honestly-Has Tyrieshia ever whupped you?
A- Nah (laughing). She’s bashed my nose once in sparring but she’s never whupped me
Q-Last anything you want to say to your fans, family, or friends?
A- I just want to say everybody all of my supporters to keep supporting me and keep looking out for me. I won’t let them down.
Presented by Greg Cohen Promotions and GH3 Promotions in association with Acquinity Sports and First Round Promotions. In the 12-round main event, undefeated Philippine knockout artist Jundy Maraon (15-0-1, 12 KOs) taking on undefeated NABA and WBA Fedelatin Bantamweight Champion, Juan Carlos Payano (13-0, 7 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in a WBA Title Eliminator. The co–main event features rising super bantamweight Jorge “King” Diaz 17(10)-1-0 of New Brunswick, N.J. battling Miami based Yenifel Vicente 24 (16)-1-2 for the WBC FECARBOX title in a scheduled 8 rounds
Of the other fights on the undercard will be:
Light Heavyweight Lavarn Harvell vs. Paul Vasquez -six rounds
Welterweights Anthony Young vs. Xavier Burgos -six rounds
Lightweights Rickey Edwards vs. Larry Yanez -four rounds
Welterweights Shakur Jackson vs. Michael Pickett -four rounds
Tickets are priced at $35, $50, $75, and $100 Ringside (Rows 1-2). VIP Tables for 10 are also available that include dinner. To purchase, please call 888.612.4191. On fight night, doors open at 6:00 pm and the action starts at 7:30. The Richard J. Codey Arena at South Mountain is located at 560 Northfield Avenue in West Orange, New Jersey.