A vision was cast a decade ago and it’s now a full-fledged reality for all who make up the inner circle of the Knowledge Boxing Center. It’s taken days, months, and years of dedication and commitment from coaches Daryl Hinmon and John Richardson, who juggle fatherhood, careers, and their love of coaching the sport of boxing.
The dream of becoming a professional boxer is also now in the near future for a couple of blessed fathers that are winning in the ring for more than just themselves. This father’s day weekend represents part of that dream this year as two boxers from the gym are now enjoying fatherhood.
The dream began in the South Hampton neighborhood in southern Maryland at the Carver Rec Center and soon became a reality in 2017 at 21310 Great Mills Road when Hinmon and Richardson took a leap of faith and made sacrifices for the betterment of the community of Great Mills and surrounding Lexington Park.
Boxing is not an easy sport to get involved in and will definitely challenge one mentally, physically and at times spiritually, Hinmon has said.
Knowledge Boxing is the sanction holder for the USA Boxing tournaments that have been taking place at the Willows Recreation Center located on Bradley Boulevard in ‘beautiful’ Lexington Park.
The May 14th USA Sanctioned card proved to be just as advertised; focused boxers who came to show out their talents and dedication to the sport. Fourteen matchups brought the crowd to its feet on that rainy afternoon just after Ms. LaKeisha Smith sang her amazing rendition of the National Anthem.
Hinmon said he and coach Richardson were extremely pleased with the team’s performance.
“All of the hard work we put in at the gym and on the road, sparring really paid off,” Hinmon said. “They were all calm, intelligent, and violent which is exactly what boxing calls for.”
As the team is getting more experience, they are traveling and getting in the ring more. An August 13th card is planned, also for the Willows Rec Center, which is owned and operated by Trish Post.
Post said she never envisioned hosting a boxing match when she first opened the doors.
“We were receptive to the idea of hosting and he’s [Hinmon] the right guy to sell the program,” Post said.
Post said Hinmon and Richardson always fill the house.
“We set up for 500 and we’re happy to see the community supporting it. His boxers always assist him with everything. I have friends that go there [KBC] for their cardio and he does a great job. He fully supports the community and he’s always promoting someone other than himself on his website.”
Tremaine Teddy P. Fuller, 29, a United States Marine Corps Veteran came off of another victory just one week prior to the May 14th bout. Fuller took on Nijay Brown (Agoge Project) in the 165 open division.
“I felt really confident going in and it went exactly how I thought it should have; I didn’t get winded. I stuck to our game plan of working the jab. It went perfectly. I go out there to win every round.
“I honestly 100 percent feel we have the best coaches in the area. The only person that could beat me was myself, but I had no thought of being unprepared. I had fought him before and I knew he had good stamina but in that last round I knew that he was going to turn it up a notch.”
Fuller said the plan is to turn professional by next year.
“A year and a half ago I had my first child and that was a big moment for me,” Fuller said. “Especially to have him come to my fights now. It puts a little more edge [confidence] on me. It makes me want to win that much more because my son is in the crowd. I love to win in front of him and to see him copy me and do the little things that I do when he tries to box in the house.
It makes it all feel worth it now. That I’m doing it for a reason. “
Alexander said if there’s one thing he’d want the general public to know, it’s to do what you love and don’t waste time.
“Every second you waste of not doing what you love is just time spent unhappy,” he said. “I love boxing. This is one of the highlights of my days. Besides going home to my wife and child, I love coming to the boxing gym. Do what you love and stand for what you love and work hard at it.”
Teammate, Devante ‘Quiet Storm’ Alexander, 29 a county resident won his bout over Trey Russell (Lightning Quick Boxing) in the 132 open division.
“I felt very prepared; I did a lot of cardio, running and I just had to go in there and execute my skills,” Alexander said. “It’s a lot going on from inside the ring to outside the ring so you really have to stay focused. It was a good fight. I thought I started out a little slower, but it was a feeling-out process. By the second round, I could hear as I threw my body shots that he was getting winded. It helped out going into the third round.”
Winning the Regional Golden Gloves in 2019, Alexander said gave him a lot of recognition within the boxing organization.
“We started to get a lot of respect from a lot of the other gyms, and it makes you want to go even harder and win something even bigger. I don’t think I’ve reached my peak yet. I think there’s much more to keep pushing it and I want to see how far I can push myself. I see myself turning professional by next year.”
Alexander’s goal is to fight between 125-120 pounds.
“All in all I’m grateful to have my family’s support,” he said. “They’re always there for me at each fight. I think if they were worried about me getting punched in the face, they’d forgotten about that by now. It’s great to have them there.”
Erniece Dawson, a Golden Gloves champion originally from Fort Washington took on a strong opponent in Alexandra Brennan (Kaizen MMA) in the 139-pound novice division with her father, Dr. Ernest Dawson, senior pastor of Rehoboth New Life Church Alliance in Clinton by her side.
“She’s been a fighter ever since she was a baby,” Apostle Dawson stated, “and we as her family is truly, truly very proud and happy for her. I and the family stand behind her in her goals.”
Erniece Dawson said it always means a lot to have her (father), pastor at (church), her strongest supporter there to watch.
“As a female boxer sometimes it gets a little tricky finding an opponent for my weight class so usually I have to be prepared on short notice,” Dawson said.
Dawson and Brennan had sparred prior to the meeting.
“When you’re actually in the ring, it’s a different level of comfort, so the first round is about what you’re bringing that day. I don’t know what happened but it got super hot in that venue all of the sudden. I will say from the last time we met up, she’d gotten a little stronger. She’s a very skillful fighter but I’ve yet to run into any kind of power that I haven’t felt in my own gym.”
Dawson will transfer over to the open division soon.
Apostle Dawson said Erniece fights for what she wants.
“She goes with the attitude that if I don’t try, I can’t win and if I win, I tried. We talk often and I love that attitude about her and everything she puts her mind to she goes for. I’ve seen a lot of growth all around; not just in the boxing arena but in the world arena for her.”
Dawson isn’t sure if she’ll be on the August card at Willows Rec Center just yet.
“For August, we plan to do exactly what the show title indicates, bring the smoke to Southern Maryland,” Hinmon said. “In between now and then, we will be competing in the Washington D.C. Golden Gloves tournament at Rosecroft Racetrack, and we will do our very best to bring some trophies back to Southern Maryland.”
Marlin Smith [Great Mills graduate] is also a Golden Gloves Championship of KBC.
Hinmon added, “We aim to put in the work that will allow us to add to those totals this year and that means running the miles, working on our skill, and getting in the tough D.C. sparring to make sure we are fully prepared for the challenge.”
“Everyone in boxing knows that the D.C. area is one of the toughest in the country for boxing,” he added, “so we will have great opponents to help make us better. We are super proud of our team. They are some of the most focused, disciplined, and hard-working young people you will find.”
Sponsors for the May 14th card were State Delegate Brian Crosby, William BJ Hall who’s running for St. Mary’s Commission President, Maryland State Delegate Deb Rey, Manson-Dixon Line, LLC., Uncle D’s Grill located on Great Mills Road, Taylor Gas, Real Estate agent Kim Bannister, DB Landscaping, Cheseldine Auto Group, Southern Maryland News Net, Wynn’s Trucking, and the Makeup Junkiez who were also the ring card ladies for the day.
For more information on the August 13th card, visit www.knowledgeboxingcenter.com