One More Round brings home boxing titles
By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Darlington boxing gym One More Round has added more championship belts to its collection, as two fighters returned from the June 26 – 27 Battle of the States tournament in Arlington, NC with titles in tow.
“Both of them are novice fighters. For one, it was his first fight, and for the other it was his second fight,” says One More Round’s head boxing coach Larry Frazier. “And we were the only team from South Carolina that won.”
Qiabeon James, 15 years old and fighting at 141 pounds, says that while the tournament hosted a lot of skilled fighters with more experience, his conditioning gave him an advantage.
“There were a lot of really good people, and the boy I fought was good, but I was in better shape,” says James.
Tournament rookie Tyvin Jeffery, 16 years old and fighting at 152 pounds, echoes that sentiment and credits his win to superior training.
“I wouldn’t have made it without coach pushing me hard,” says Jeffery. “If I wasn’t in shape, I wouldn’t have won. (My opponent) was in shape also, but more punches were thrown by me.”
Founded by Marshal and Lorie Stokes, One More Round is a co-ed boxing program providing training to kids and adults alike, headquartered at Darlington’s Stanley Gym. Coach Frazier handles much of the hands-on training, pushing fighters to develop strength and stamina enough to withstand – and defeat – fighters from much larger gyms.
“We’re a year old, and in that year’s time we’ve had a Silver Gloves champion, two junior Golden Gloves champions, and two Battle of the States champions,” Frazier says. “We’re doing pretty good.”
Most of the current stable of boxers have stuck with the program for over six months, but Frazier says the rigorous training has proved too much for some kids and several have withdrawn to pursue other sports. While those kids are missed, Frazier won’t compromise; he believes that going easy on his fighters does them no favors.
“In order to be the best, to be a champion, you’ve got to work hard, you’ve got to pay the price. Any and everybody can’t be a boxer,” Frazier says.
In addition to learning the fight game, boxers at One More Round receive – whether they ask for it or not – plenty of life lessons from Coach Frazier to keep them on the straight and narrow.
“He’s really teaching us about self defense, but he’s also teaching us to stay out of trouble,” says Jeffery.
One More Round also boasts among its current fight roster three formidable youngsters who’ve already claimed title belts: Jimmy Hunt (age 11, fighting at 80 lbs), Eric Bacote (age 13, fighting at 132 lbs), and Slayton Stokes (age 9, fighting at 109 lbs). If their work ethic and commitment to the sport remains strong, their coach foresees great things on the horizon.
“I think this year coming up will be a good year for Darlington boxing, for One More Round. I’m hoping to get some of our boys ranked (nationally). That’s our goal,” says Frazier. “Maybe by 2020, we’ll have some of them going to the Olympics.”