James Stevenson Jr. has one goal in mind: make history.
The 30-year-old professional boxer out of Baltimore told the AFRO he’s been fighting all his life, which was common for youths growing up in the rough environment of East Baltimore.
But now Stevenson is using his hands to do something not many pro boxers in the area can claim they’ve done – stay undefeated.
Stevenson, a welterweight boxer at 147 pounds with the nickname “Keep ’em Sleepin,” has a current pro record of 20-0, knocking out 13 of the 20 opponents he’s faced. His most recent victim was South Carolina native James Hope, whom he defeated with a technical knockout in the fourth round on Sept. 28 at Patapsco Arena in Baltimore.
“James is special, man. Anybody around him can sense it,” said Mack Allison IV, a boxing coach for Upton Boxing Gym in West Baltimore. Allison does strength and conditioning training for Stevenson, working along with James Hogan of Mob-town Gym, Stevenson’s head trainer, and technical trainer Dave Sewell.
Allison thinks Stevenson has the gift and talent to become one of the premier boxers in the world.
“He’s an all-around good fighter,” Allison said. “He can box, or he can brawl. He can do it all. He doesn’t look for the knockout, but if it comes his way, he’ll put you down.”
Stevenson said he’s driven to be the best boxer Baltimore has seen in a long time, and wants to succeed particularly to honor his late father.
“My father died three years ago from a heart attack,” Stevenson told the AFRO. “It was a dream for him for me to make it far in boxing. It was all he talked about. I think about him every time I fight and almost cry every time I step in the ring because he was my biggest fan.”
With his father in his heart and mind, Stevenson said he won’t stop winning until he makes his father’s dream come to true.
“I want to go all the way, make history,” he said. “I’m going to get some championship belts, and put my mom in a beautiful house. I won’t stop until it’s done.”