He is called “Silky”. It’s written on his suitcase.
But New Orleans boxer Sean Hemphill hasn’t had a smooth year.
“Yeah, it was kind of tough,” Hemphill said.
How about having to cancel his debut on Showtime’s ShoBox twice due to injuries a week before each game in February and October?
For an undefeated fighter (14-0, 8 KOs) on the verge of his first national exposure, the 54 weeks between fights seemed like an eternity.
“I’m devastated because it’s set my career back a year,” said the 27-year-old Hemphill. “But it’s only one year and you have to keep going.
“I know my chance will come again.”
Hemphill’s grit will take a hit when he faces undefeated super-middleweight David Stevens (11-0, 8 KOs) in the ShoBox Main Event at the Wind Creek Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on Friday: starts at 8pm
Stevens was scheduled to face Hemphill on Oct. 21 in Atlantic City. The game, which will be played 42 miles from Stevens’ hometown of Reading, Pa., presents another hurdle for Hemphill to overcome.
“I’ve got to push the action and show my skills so that if I can’t shut him out, I’m still showing who’s the better fighter,” Hemphill said. “When you’re fighting on another person’s home territory, you have to keep that in mind.”
Playing the full eight rounds is something Hemphill is prepared to do, as he showed in his last fight, a unanimous decision against Jason Minder in New Orleans last January.
Under the tutelage of his father – former Kickboxing World Champion Steve “Spider” Hemphill – and Hall of Fame boxer/coach Buddy McGirt, Sean Hemphill has developed Become a pure boxer, use his jab and reach to build combos and score, making bonuses for getting more stoppages than targets.
Stevens’ nickname, “Dynamite,” matched his blunt offensive style. Stevens, 22, has his own Hall of Fame coach in Ronnie Shields’ corner and has won four of his past five games, most recently at Dallas in July. · Barberio (Louis Barberio) second round TKO.
“He trains hard and loves fighting as much as anyone I’ve ever worked with,” Shields, who has trained Mike Tyson and others, said of Stevens. “He loved it so much I had to kick him out of the gym.”
And, for ShoBox executive producer Gordon Hall, it’s the different styles that make the fight fascinating.
“These two guys are at a point in their careers where a fight like this is less of a potential setback than a learning experience,” he said. “Both of them can move forward from here.”
While Hemphill certainly won’t let go of an opponent like Stevens, he and his agent have ambitions of hitting three or four more times in 2023, getting him into the 168-pound rankings and making the case for a title in 2024. get ready.
“I’ve seen what ShoBox has done for fighters,” Hemphill said. “Winning this battle opens up more doors and opportunities, like promotional deals and more TV shows.
“Two injuries are disappointing, but I’ve been in the gym to stay in shape. I’m ready to take my career to the level it should be.”