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WILMINGTON,NC(WWAY) — Ismael Johnson is rising junior at Hoggard High School. He’s only been boxing for a year, but he’s already a national champion. “I like punching people”, Johnson said. “I really like boxing overall. I’m really surprised I’m a national champion though. It surprised all of us.” The biggest surprise is the number of bouts Ismael Johnson had in order to win his national title. “It was basically by forfeit. I got it without throwing one punch.” Ismael is serious about that. Due to two walkovers and a forfeit Johnson emerged the champ. He even admits the national title was handed to him.

Lindell Beatty is Johnson’s boxing coach. “If he had had fights he would have won all three of them because he trained just as hard as Barry did,” Beatty said.

Barry Pierce is a rising junior at Wilmington Early College. At the Title National Championship in Olive Branch, Mississippi Pierce fought three times. He won all three bouts. ” I breezed through the first fight. It was not a challenge”, Pierce said. “The second fight was the same thing. The third fight I had to fight hard. The crowd was cheering on my side and everything.”

Lindell Beatty says punching and confidence are Pierce’s biggest assets.

As it turns out both Johnson and Pierce ended up with the same result, but the Wilmington boxers did it in a slightly different fashion. Johnson and Pierce both train at the All Rules MMA-Boxing Center on College Road in Wilmington.

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