While supporting Minnesota Masters Division boxers Ryan Sheahan and Steve McComas, who competed at the Gleason’s Gym Masters Clinic in Brooklyn, NY on February 20, I was able to speak briefly with Mark Breland, the 1984 Welterweight Olympic Gold Medalist and former professional World Welterweight Champion who now trains professional fighters. We first met when as a freelance journalist I attended the Gleason’s Fantasy Camp in Monticello, NY in September, 2005. At that time he was preparing to train Vernon Forrest for an upcoming fight, and at the Masters Division competition we spoke very briefly of that champion’s tragic death last year. We also spoke briefly about the tragic death last year of the legendary Alexis Arguello, whom we both greatly admire. As I was committed to meeting and interviewing Michael Olajide, Jr. the following week and I also conducted business on behalf of the National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981 (www.nwu.org), I did not have time to meet with and extensively interview Breland. I plan on catching up with him soon for the purpose of discussing his experience has a champion fighter and a trainer of world champions, as well as the ability of fighters to prolong their careers and the influence one’s competitive history has on the ability to successfully train champions. If possible, a story will appear on this page before summer. Please watch for it.
© Copyright 2009, Mark Connor