By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hartsville native, United States Marine Corps veteran, and longtime boxing coach Larry Frazier will soon receive an honor few fighters receive: induction into the prestigious USMC Boxing Hall of Fame.
Frazier has been boxing since he was eleven years old. He’s won bouts around the world, been ranked in the top ten, was inducted into the South Carolina Boxing Hall of Fame, and continues to share his knowledge of the sport with aspiring fighters by coaching at One More Round, headquartered at Darlington’s Arthur W. Stanley Gymnasium. But Frazier says being recognized as a top boxer by the Corps is one of the great thrills of his life.
“I’m very excited about it. They’ll have former Olympians there (at the ceremony) – Leon Spinks and Corey Stevenson. It’s been 38 years since I’ve been at Camp Lejeune and I’m anxious to meet some of my old teammates,” says Frazier. “I’ve got my whole family going and quite a few people from Hartsville, so it’s going to be pretty good.”
Frazier joined the Marines in 1976, fresh out of high school and eager for adventure.
“I graduated high school on Friday and was at Parris Island that Monday,” he recalls. “I loved their boxing team. They had a pretty good boxing team at that time and I was very excited to join.”
Being a member of USMC Boxing, Frazier says he got to travel all over the world for fights and eventually reached the rank of #7 at 156 pounds, with a record of 38 wins and 5 losses over three years.
“That was a big achievement for me. I had the chance to meet a lot of fighters and go a lot of places that I never would have seen if I had stayed home,” Frazier says.
He says he owes a great debt to his first boxing coach, Don Atkinson of Hartsville, who took Frazier under his wing and taught him the discipline and dedication necessary to excel in sports. Frazier says he is very happy that Atkinson plans to attend the induction ceremony, along with Frazier’s mother and sister.
“(Boxing) taught me a lot, but the best thing for me was when I turned my life over to the Lord,” Frazier says. “I had a chance to do a lot of crazy things as a young man, but once He changed my life, everything began to fall into place.”
Frazier says coaching students – young kids and adults alike – through One More Round provides him with the opportunity to help them realize their potential as athletes and as individuals. He has not yet told his students about the USMC Boxing Hall of Fame induction, noting that he tries not to belabor his own accomplishments, but he does relate some of his life experiences to them in order to keep them in school, out of trouble, and focused on becoming strong, productive people. Frazier says he tries to encourage his boxing students to keep their priorities in order, telling them to put God first, family second, and boxing third.
“Working hard paid the price for me. I tell them that if I can do it, coming from a small town, they can do it, too. They can even be better. Boxing is more popular here in South Carolina than it was in the early 1970s. It’s improved a lot, so they can go a long way,” says Frazier.
The USMC Boxing Hall of Fame last year enshrined boxers who fought from 1954 to 1976, and this year’s class will span from 1977 to 1984, which was the last year of Marine Corps boxing. The induction ceremony will take place Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Goettge Memorial Field House, Bldg. 751 McHugh Blvd, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
To learn more about boxing with One More Round, contact Frazier at (843) 332-9826, (843) 639-0096, or email email@example.com