By Lou McLaughlin: Last week I conducted a phone interview with amateur star Antoine Douglas of Washington, D.C. who at the time was scheduled to make his professional debut Virginia on October 27th Douglas is scheduled for a quick ring return when he fights on November 10th in Millville, New Jersey. Due to hurricane Sandy I was unable to put this interview out earlier. But the results were Antoine winning in 90 seconds of the first round. 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. 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.
Q-Who or what got you into boxing in the amateurs?
A-My cousin Patrick got me into boxing in the amateurs at the age of 10. I would say that I had a pretty polished amateur career. I placed third in the Olympic Trials. I had the opportunity to compete for the World Cup in Russia in 2011
Q-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 to me go pro.
Q-How did you meet up with your promoter Greg Cohen?
A-I hooked up with him through Vito Mielnicki and I hooked up with him through my coach Kay Korona and my uncle. 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 a lot of pressure on you these next few weeks-Your pro debut on Oct 27 (he won in 90 seconds) then the added pressure of a second fight scheduled November 10. You have a lot riding on the next few weeks how you coping with it?
A-I take it day by day. It is a lot of pressure. But I am pretty level minded. I‘ve faced pressure all of my life.
Q-Do you know anything about your first pro opponent Valdez Eason? Trained any different?
A-No, We’ve just been doing regular training the opponent came up on short notice. All I know is that he is 0 and 6. I saw a few tapes on YouTube. My coach and I have been working off what we had on short notice.
Q-You have any time table for after the November 10 fight?
A-No, I’m not sure. I believe my promoter would be lining up something else. I know that I am in good hands.
Q-I watched on YouTube a 2009 amateur fight of yours against Ray Miligan and I thought you were good. Then I watched a 2010 bout of yours against Kevin Higson and in my opinion you had gone from good to excellent-To what do you attribute such marked improvement over a year?
A-Just the hard work and dedication. The combination of me and my trainer and all that we work on. Always trying to get better. I’ve heard that I’m good and would be a great pro. But you have to always stay humble in this sport.
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-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.
Your Sister Tyrieshia also has boxes—3 questions
Q-Do you train with her in anyway?
A-No, not really when we get together on the weekends at my mother’s house we go jogging. We had trained together before in Washington but then she moved to Baltimore. We’d always be together at National Tournaments. We were the first brother and sister to make the Olympic Trials.
Q-Think she’ll go pro-there are a lot of brothers in the fight game the Spinks and Klitschko brothers among them but I think never a brother /sister team?
A-Yeah, She is. We have talked about it. She is just as ambitious as I am. She will be there for my pro debut as I was at her pro debut.
Q-This next question you must answer honestly-Has Tyrieshia ever whupped you?
A-Nah! Nah! (Laughing)-she tells everyone she can beat me. When she first started I was her sparring partner.
Q-Last anything you want to say to your fans, family, or friends?
A-Yes, come to my fights because I’m going to be putting on a great show.