ONYX recently sat down with professional boxer Earl Newman Jr, a two-time NYC Golden Glove Champion, National Golden Glove Champion and World Golden Glove Champion, currently with a professional record of 10-1-1 (7 KOs). We talked about his journey in boxing and even got the chance to tap into his creative side.
How did you get into boxing?
I was an overweight kid, weighing 250 pounds when I was 14 at one point; but I was always athletic and active. I initially got into boxing to lose weight and after seeing how much weight I lost, I stuck with it.
Is it what you always dreamed of doing? If not, what did you dream of?
I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do. My parents were big on education and I just figured being in the medical field was the norm since my mom works with babies at King’s County Hospital and my father works at Bellevue Hospital. I just always knew that I didn’t want to be bored behind a desk. I almost joined the army after high school just because it looked exciting.
What do you like most about boxing?
I love the contact, the high speed chess game in the ring, and the fact that I only have to rely on myself and the “kill or be killed” mentality.
What do you like least about it?
I hate the politics of boxing; it takes so much away from the sport. People who have never risked their lives or even taken punches in their life try to rob fighters blind. It’s disgusting.
Describe your most memorable fight.
In 2016, I fought in the Barclays Center on the Errol Spence vs Chris Algieri undercard. I delivered an impressive knockout and it aired all over NBC. I got a lot of recognition for the fight.
What was the scariest moment of your career?
I don’t really have anything that scares me in my career. I’ve thought about it and accepted the worst possible things that could happen, even death.
What was the most fulfilling moment?
In 2013, I was in my first national tournament as an amateur representing New York City as a golden glove champion. It was a tournament of champions so the competition was fierce. It’s a week long tournament and you have to fight a new opponent everyday after advancing. I made it to the finals and was set to fight this knockout artist named Joshua Temple from St. Louis. He’s been on the scene much longer and everyone except my teammates bet against me that night. I dominated and beat him soundly, winning my first national championship. That really got my name out there, and I started to make my mark.
Describe your training schedule.
I generally train twice a day, sometimes three times. I wake up at 5am and do a good distance run of 5-6 miles. Then I do a calisthenics workout, go home and have a decent breakfast, then relax. I train again around 3-5:30pm. Three times a week I do a strength and conditioning workout, along with the other workouts. And I spar (simulation of a real fight with a live partner) three times a week.
What advice would you have for boys and young men wanting to get into professional boxing?
I would say they should know that it requires a lot of discipline which can really help shape and mold them into confident respectable members of society. Its not a sport to come into half-ass because full commitment is the only way to ensure success.
How does a boxing career impact your family and social life?
My family is supportive of my career. Initially, my parents weren’t on board because it was an unconventional and hard way to make a living, but they are behind me 100 percent. Social life for me is random and I try my best to plan things when I have downtime from my hectic schedule.
What would you say to your 18 year-old self?
Do not procrastinate and always trust your gut feeling. You are amazing and don’t settle for less. Do what makes you happy because time will fly by faster than you can blink.
When will you retire and what will you do then?
What do you want to be remembered for?
For being a genuine guy who stubbornly followed his dreams and didn’t take no for an answer. Also, I want to be known for being a light in the room that always made people feel good.
A Poem by Earl Newman, Jr.
“My body is warm…sweat beads sitting on my skin ready to fall like morning dew.The crowd is rowdy and loud…vibrations shaking the room I patiently wait in. But at the same time I focus it towards where it’s background noise. Focusing on controlled breathing…slowing my heart rate. You’ve been here before. It’s just another day at the office.A man walks in and says it’s time to walk. The room seems to shrink and the hallway seems longer. The lights are so distant but so near. Damn I feel like I’ve been walking forever. I bounce to make sure my legs didn’t turn into jelly. Yup they’re still strong and ready to jump at a moment’s instance. I step out and the lights temporarily blind me. The air is cold and now I have goosebumps. I hear the cheers…the boos…I feel the burning stares. But it’s all background noise…I’ve been here before. These ppl don’t matter. I have a job to do. I get to the stairs and step in between the ropes. Stepping between these ropes have made many lives but also taken some lives. I will lose apart of me every time I step in there but it’s all for a greater purpose. I will sacrifice my skin…my life…for a better livelihood and for these blood thirsty spectators salivating for entertainment. I look across and see the eyes of my next victim. The whole arena goes quiet until I hear that bell.. ?. Time to go to work.”