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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.

Comment on this Story

  • Guesthug

    The front page is filled with Anfrican American men in trouble.. Here are some positive role models finally!

  • greenie

    As usual, pretty appalling to read all the racist and ignorant comments under the negative news stories of murders/crashes/assaults on WWAY today. But I feel the need to comment on this story for the fact that I wish there were other minority “positive role models” to report on besides those involved in sports. Especially violent sports like boxing. “I like punching people…” (?!!?)

  • guesty

    Anybody can succeed if they want it and work for it like these two have. Good job to both guys.

  • tweety12

    Job well done gentlemen keep up the good work.

  • Guestat dinner

    There are many young minority positive role models to report on, besides those involved in sports. Boxing, in my opinion, isnt a violent sport–simply a serious contact sport (a sport that many people just arent cut out for, and thats for sure). Unfortunately, the negative stories we read and hear about, more often than less, just happen to be more of a news interest. And, sports is a great outlet for youth of all ethnic backgrounds and ages. I feel that if the public would embrace these positive role models, when they do surface, many more youth would be attracted to that positive feedback rather than to idiotic behaviour. I would rather that this kid continues punching people in the boxing ring(the place for it), than in the streets punching on me.

    Congratulations to these young boxers! You guys deserve all the credit in the world for your accomplishments. Ive always wondered what it would be like to earn a championship belt. The City should keep their eyes open for you both in the 2016 Olympic Games.

  • anon amos

    I am acquainted with these young men. They are polite and well-mannered kids. More importantly, both of these young men are very good students in local high schools–Wilmington Early College, and Hoggard High School.

    From my observation, their coach is going to need his own facility so more youth can benefit from his expertise and commitment.

    Congratulations gentlemen…dont turn around now!


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