As fate would have it 2 Philadelphia fighters decided to have a media day on the same day. If you're looking for Bernard Hopkins footage, you'll have to get it elsewhere. I know Round by Round Boxing should have some photos and YouTube videos of the event as Brendan Montenegro was there too, but that's all I've got to say about the artist formerly known as the "Executioner" today. Apparently he wants to be called the "Alien" now. What's with legends in their 40s seeking new identities? First Snoop Lion, now this...
But I digress. Today the focus is on Dante Selby, a 33 year old, ex-college basketball player, 2-0-1 heavyweight prospect with absolutely no amateur career.
I know; I know. Why would such an inexperienced fighter already have a media event? For Dante, it's go big or go home. He's got 5 kids to support and no time to waste. He's not a big heavyweight by today's standards at 6'3" 220lbs, but he believes in himself and so does his team. Check out the videos below and see what he's got to offer. He began with sparring, then hit the heavy bag, mitts and punch shield, shadowboxed, and finished on the speed bag. One of the fighters training in the background is Dante's 19 year old younger brother Tamir ibn Amaar Herbert, scheduled to fight in amateur tournaments in the following months.
Here Dante sparred Brian "The Wildman" Donahue, and more or less had his way with the smaller man. Donahue debuted back in 2004 as a middleweight but has since developed into a small cruiserweight.
And here Dante and his brother Tamir put in some work on heavy bags.
And here Date worked pads with his trainer Mark Robertson, the "Mad Scientist of Boxing." More on him later...
And here Dante got in some power shots on a punch shield, held by assistant trainer and manager Ofa Donalson. More on him another time (every time I see him he says, half-jokingly, "Where's my interview?").
And here Dante shadowboxed.
And finally, here, he finished his workout by hitting the speed bag. It's by no means an exceptional speed bag performance, but the bag itself was a bit unusual and lacked real speed. I'm fairly decent on a speed bag and when I tried it afterward I struggled as well.
Next we move on to the interviews and the overall point of Selby training in the first place.
Firstly I interviewed the man of the hour, Dante "Snuggley Time" Selby. I've actually covered all of Selby's pro wins for BLH thus far and hopefully will be able to see him again Oct. 25th (not 15th, which already happened...) for his next fight at the National Guard Armory. The only thing that would stop me from attending is if I have a fight on the same day (Lucien Blackwell tournament). Anyways, at the moment Selby's opponent is the dreaded TBA (To Be Announced) as his original opponent pulled out due to injury. But Dante is confident there will be a man across the ring to face him (he seems to already know who and just can't disclose the name yet).
As a devout Muslim Dante doesn't drink, smoke, and with 5 kids he damn sure doesn't party. He's taking his career very seriously and he just may surprise you some day. For a guy with only 10 months of boxing under his belt, he already surprised me.
Lastly I interviewed Date's lead trainer Mark Robertson, who primarily spent time talking about Dante and his 8 year old son Amir "Little Future" Robertson. Mark has previously trained Luis Castro, Mike Arnaoutis, and Luis Alberto Santiago to name a few. He reiterated a Mayweather saying that it takes heart, a chin, and brains to be a great fighter. Mark believes Dante has a lot of heart and a pretty durable chin. And when he gets Dante thinking like a pure boxer, he thinks Dante will be unstoppable.
Time will tell.
Want more? Check out Darryl Cobb's photography of the event. He's the guy walking around with the camera in the background of a few of my videos.
One last thing, I wasn't even invited to the gdamn Bernard Hopkins media workout. But it's alright. I would have turned it down anyways. I made this commitment to Dante a long time ago. I have no regrets.