Local boxer channels Mr. T in return to ring


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Pender County native Donnell Holmes will step back into the boxing ring Friday after a 15-month layoff. The professional heavyweight will lace up the gloves in Raleigh.

That in itself is significant, but the real story here is the “new look” Holmes. It’s a look that’s not exactly new.

- Advertisement -

“He’s always been a hero to me,” Holmes said of actor Mr. T, who’s style he’s borrowing. “Always when I saw him on TV it was always about what he was doing for someone else. I was actually going to do this two years ago, but the fight got cancelled due to my promoter at that time, but it’ll work out better this time, because my fight is May 20. Mr. T’s birthday is May 21.”

Ironically, we don’t even know what boxer is foolish enough to enter the boxing ring Holmes.

“I was supposed to fight Brad Gregory, but he backed out,” Holmes said. “Things happen. People always ask me who am I fighting, but I’m never concerned with the opponent, because things happen all the time. I never study for one certain style. I just like to expect the unexpected.”

In order to honor Mr. T on his birthday Holmes, who sports a 32-1-2 record as a pro, went from a clean shaven boxer to one with hair on his face and the top of his head in the form of Mr. T’s trademark Mohawk.

“Everyone was laughing,” Holmes said. “They just thought it was something I was doing, but it wasn’t about that, so I had to tell them what it was for, so I showed them a picture of my trunks to let them know what it was for.”

The trunks area a happy birthday tribute to Mr. T. And of course, there’s his famous phrase. It’s four short, simple, powerful words.

“I pity the fool!” Holmes said. “And I will destroy any man who will try to take what I have.”

If you can’t make it to Raleigh for Friday night’s bout, you can watch it online at http://gofightlive.tv or http://gfl.tv. The cost is $10.