All the BS and nonsense about race by morons like MSNBC's Chris Matthews and courage by Planned Parenthood lap-dogs like Senator Dithering Dick Durbin fade like the memory of the scents Sweetheart Rendering at 34th & Ashland and the Skyway over Gary twenty years ago, when kids dedicated to the sweet science of boxing and school success come back to Leo High School.
Yesterday afternoon I had the great pleasure of hearing about Leo Man and Golden Gloves Boxing Champ Lamar Fenner*.
Lamar was coached by Mike Joyce while he was here at Leo and continues to be with Mike Joyce's Celtic Boxing Club which trains, black, white, middle class and impoverished kids on the south side of Chicago.
Lamar is one tough kid and as a younger gent was as one might say - willful. He is the Third Ranked Best Heavyweight American Amateur Boxer.
He got himself into one jackpot after another but with Mike Joyce's 'hands-on' mentoring and blunt Irish Psychology 101 - "Listen you little #$%%er . . ." Love and Affection graduated and set a path for a life of commitment.
Lamar is a Mmber of Team USA Boxing:
flyweight Michael Ruiz, Jr. (Fresno, Calif.), bantamweight John Franklin (Fort Carson, Colo.), featherweight Ricky Edwards (Prospect Park, N.J.), lightweight Eric DeLeon (Lincoln Park, Mich.), welterweight Errol Spence (Desoto, Texas), middleweight Luis Arias (Milwaukee, Wis.), heavyweight Lamar Fenner (Chicago, Ill.) and super heavyweight Lenroy Thompson (Lenexa, Kansas). Female boxers Patricia Manuel (Commerce, Calif.) and Brittany Inkrote (Red Lion, Pa.) will represent the United States at the lightweight and welterweight divisions respectively.
The U.S. coaching staff will be led by newly named Volunteer National Coach Ed Weichers (Colorado Springs, Colo.), and he will be joined by Candy Lopez (San Jose, Calif.) and Gary Sullenger (Concord, Calif.). Richard Trindle (Mercer, Pa.) will serve as the Team Manager for the event with David Llaurdo (New York, N.Y.) and Richard Neves (Pleasanton, Calif.) serving as the AIBA officials.
Lamar and TEAM USA fought in London last week. Lamar Fenner lost against one of the top ranked British Boxers Heavyweight Stephen Simmons in 20-6 decision.
Lamar had nothing but praise for Simmons- "He left hand jabbed me, Mr. Hickey, and he held me off for the decision and the decision was his. He beat me."
No excuses. LaMar Fenner earns way. The Kids at Leo High School - a Catholic Hih School of the Archdiocse of Chicago - earn their way.
Chicago's own Lamar Fenner fought Michigan's Jordan Shimmell last night at the national Golden Gloves finals, and though he tried his damnedest, lost a 3-2 decision to the heavyweight. Shimmell, a four-time Michigan state champ and national Golden Gloves veteran, told Michigan Live that he thought the third round - when Fenner seemed to tire - was what probably won the split decision for him.H/t Marcus Gilmer's Chicagoist
"In the first round, Fenner spent most of the time charging in and throwing body shots. But Shimmell was able to counter effectively.
Fenner had better luck in the second round, but he seemed to tire in the third, when Shimmell put together some of his best combinations.
With just seconds left in the fight, Shimmell staggered Fenner with a straight right. But before he could follow up, the bell ended the bout.
"The third round probably won it for me," Shimmell said. "It was a close fight. But I gave it my all and he gave it his all and I came out on top. ... I was really reaching for it in third."
Before yesterday's fight, Fenner told Chicagoist that he anticipated giving it his all - and that he wanted to bring the belt back home to the city. That may not have happened this year, but there's always next year for the 26-year-old, who celebrated his (and Tracy Rollins') birthday May 4 with the opening of the tournament. Fenner may still drop the 27 pounds between him and a lower weight class, or he may compete on the city's burgeoning mixed martial arts scene.
Either way, we'll be watching.
Liked our Golden Gloves coverage? Check out our stories here - and our photos here.