The Champ Is Here!

The realization of my potential is a difficult concept for me. Only because try as I might, with all the drive of my ancestors, who fought wild beasts to procure their dinner, who escaped wrongful persecution in 1800s, who til this day fight with the power to overcome, I fall short. 2nd place. Maybe I aim to high? Maybe I am a perfectionist? Maybe I’m not my potential. Maybe I’m not good enough.

Title WinTitle Stance

But today those doubts are shattered. Today I have realized, in part, that I am great. Even when not at the best I am a champion!!! 2015 National Title Champion!

My coach Kevin Lightburn always says “The whole world is against you, you can’t be against yourself champ.” Coach Anthony Tucker always tells me “Relax. Don’t get emotional. You get emotional, you start throwing crazy punches.”  This time I listened. This time those statements meant so much more to me before my fight. I was confident and nervous. The week had been a roller coaster both physically and mentally. It is truly a blessing to box and win. Thank you everyone who has supported me thus far.

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What is HiiiPower? Why Do I Live By It?

Let’s answer these questions backwards. The second question’s answer is shorter. I live by it because though I do not know it’s creator personally, I had the same mind set even before hearing or knowing who it’s creator was. So essentially Kendrick and I just really think a lot alike.

To answer the first question, HiiiPower was created by Kendrick Lamar, or at least named, not created by, by Mr. Lamar. To explain it I will post a comment on the youtube video I came across. Thomas Utromo is so eloquent and so raw, his comment sums it up better than I ever could:

When Kendrick wrote HiiiPower it was him trying to figure out who he was and where he came from. It’s deeper than what’s written in just the lyrics.

Hiii Power is a way of thinking with higher expectations, and achieving richness in body and mind. Essentially a quest for knowledge and wisdom of the body, mind and spirit

To gain HiiiPoWeR is to gain a greater understanding of yourself.

Hiiipower: the three i’s represent heart, honor and respect. That’s how we carry ourselves in the streets, and just in the world, period. Hiiipower, it basically is the simplest form of representing just being above all the madness, all the bullshit. No matter what the world is going through, you’re always going to keep your dignity and carry yourself with this manner that it don’t phase you. Whatever you think negative is in your life. Overcoming that and still having that self-respect.

HiiiPoWeR is a higher status of thinking. To be able to think outside the box and quit indulging in useless topics

HiiiPower means that we need to stand above all the bullshit that’s going on in the world, everything that everybody is feeding us, from the time we were born until now.

Because at the end of the day, everything that we were taught in school has always been a half truth, in the world, in general. Kendrick is trying to start his generation on a whole new stepping stone with a whole new set of truth and eventually we can all learn from each other.

Its known today that the human race is nothing; no morals, no standards. What we about to do is raise the level of expectations. No, you don’t have to have a lot of money, you don’t have to be rich, but you will be rich in mind and spirit. Some say its big as a crew, some say its big as a gang, HiiiPower, we stand for it as if it’s big as a religion.

Lesane Parish Crooks is 2Pac’s original name. My understanding is that HiiiPower is very similar to Thug Life, it is to push a movement even further than Thug Life went. This is more than rap.

As he speaks on racial problems, political issues and conspiracy theories, the song sounds like the start of something epic and man, it sounds good.
“So get up off that slave ship, build your own pyramids, write your own hieroglyphs” -Kendrick Lamar

This video has Kendrick in this old warehouse spitting as there are random flashbacks of revolutionary leaders, protesting, hate and struggle. I can say that I love these type of videos, there so raw and straight forward. At one point, there is a shot of Malcolm X on a donkey in front of The Pyramids as Kendrick was saying the above quote. That was probably my favorite part of the video. I thought it was funny when he says, “that was the biggest racist party…” and they show clips of Fox News.

“And everything on tv just a figment of imagination, i don’t want a plastic nation, dread that like a haitian” -Kendrick Lamar

Why is Kendrick Lamar pouring gasoline and lighting himself on fire in the video? After seeing that, I thought of the Vietnam Monk, Thich Quang Duc, who burned himself alive in 1963 to protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnam administration. An extremely heroic act by an individual. For this situation, it took a man burning himself to death for changes to be made. The message here from Kendrick Lamar and Thich Quang Duc is to stand for what you believe in, no matter the consequences.”

That is HiiPower.  R.I.P. Alori Joh.

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Wisdom teeth suuuuuuuuuck

I got my wisdom teeth pulled two weeks ago. Long story short I had some big ass teeth and it caused problems. Thank the Lord I am built to take it because these past two weeks have been filled with some pretty painful stuff. Recovery is going great though! I had a very special someone taking care of me. It made the painful days a tad bit easier to handle. My advice to you is to get those suckers out as soon as possible if you have them.

I’m out six weeks from competition and I have just now regained some life lol. No fights for six weeks :(. BUT i forgot to update yall on my January 3rd bout. I won via TKO!!! Started 2015 on an extremely high note. That puts me at four wins and two losses, (4-2, 2 KOs)! I have to get back to work. Until the next time guys and gals!

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Being Black in America At The Moment

Is mentally exhausting. Most often time you have no one to talk to about your problems. Why? Because we are all humans. Doesn’t matter who or what race you speak to. What gender for that matter. Ridicule comes from everyone. That is a a scary thought. Because I am after all under that skin a man. And boy is it hard for me to speak on my flaws.

On top of that I can’t complain. I can’t cry and sob over something like feelings. Did my mother cry when her son dreamed of college at a big university. Did my grandmother cry scrubbing floors for people who called her out of her name and paid her nothing close to what she was worth. Did her grandmother cry when she was a slave. So how dare I cry when faced with such trivial matters?

You see when I want to quit, those thoughts fly through my head. Those thoughts are almost like handcuffs. They are also a beacon in the night to a ship floating through the storms that plague the greatest of sailor. Even that is a conflict. Am I empowered? Or driven to cowardice. All in all…the only people I talk to about it are those with no response. Will the universe right this conflict? Maybe. Will I eventually solve my own puzzles? Those could be considered the same some would say. Will God touch my troubled heart and soul? It has certainly been a long time since I asked Him. I digress.

This half poem, half blog here started out as it is named. Though writing it, it became more of a vent. I wanted to change the title to being me in America, but I can’t. Because we aren’t there yet. I must title this as I feel. Until some kid out there doesn’t have to be plagued with the thoughts that I am. To you, reader, it may seem that this is a part of some fad. I am here to say it is not. Every time somebody calls me Carlton or tells me I speak well those above thoughts race back. But I shrug and explain why I don’t like them saying that. But the times when I am alone I am haunted by those same thoughts. I guess in writing this I am not really solving my issues. But it’s out there, and for some reason I feel a little better. Just my thoughts at 1AM. Even though I’m exhausted I keep it moving and keep on living. We all, after all, want equality and that is most certainly not a black thing.

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The Statement

It certainly is hard to keep up with this website lol. Sometimes I wish I had an assistant. But, then I would have another person to keep up with haha.

The Journey So Far

So I left you guys before we had gone to the Ringside World Championship in Kansas City, MO. We had a time for sure there. I learned many things at this tournament and became a much better fighter. I fought a rather large guy, coming in at six-foot-six-inches and 300 pounds. I was never hurt by this behemoth and he tired out around the second round. The work I had done all year and the excruciating, extreme training in the month preceding the tournament really paid off! Fat boy had abs for the first time in his life. Fat boy being me lol. The training made my fight seem like it was a Saturday on the couch watching football. I truly have the greatest coaches and trainers in existence. The World Ringside Championship was indeed a teacher of many subjects

Fire For your Butt

Fast forward to today. My second year of boxing competitively. The season has started and a statement has been made. StraightRight Boxing and Fitness is home to the best fighters in the state of Arkansas. We hold two Olympic competitors, one Junior Olympic Champion, and a plethora of other athletes that are out for metaphorical and actual blood. So why is it that we receive the shaft at events? We are quite possibly the best thing smokin out of Arkansas. A team full of hard working individuals that include an Emmy award winning producer, a financial adviser and a nutritionist. These are men who are not supposed to be successful. We are supposed to be punch drunk degenerates putting all of our eggs in the proverbial “all my hopes on my athleticism” basket of destiny and disappointment. Athleticism deteriorates. It goes away. You get old one day. We know this we are prepared for this. So why then do you take from these men the fruit of their labor? boxing 2 You may be confused reading this. You may be excited thinking, “What is Bernard rambling about?” The scene. November 1st, 2014, Ft. Smith Arkansas. Brannon Terry has just beaten his opponent within an inch of a knockout. That’s saying something for this 132 pound wrecking machine. He has faced this opponent before. Terry is in rare form landing every combo thrown while being sly enough not to take enough damage in return. He almost scores a knockout in the second round but the other fighter is resilient. The is a StraightRight victory in our first fight at our first event of the season, most assuredly.

“And the winner is…IN THE RED CORNER!”

“Hold on, what?” I said to Phil, one of my teammates. The crowd is in awe for a second but generally goes back to what they may been doing. Murmurs are heard here and there “Wow,” or “Really judges?” can be heard from strangers and familiar faces alike. Many people come up and express their discomfort with a fighter being robbed of a victory. Coach Lightburn is fed up, this has happened to his fighters one too many Continue reading

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What’s Going On In My Neck Of The Woods Pt. 2

So I left you guys around about the time that we were chilling at Jason’s house. Yes I’m aware you don’t know Jason. He’s a dear friend of my coach and always opens his home to us when we are in Little Rock no questions asked, so he most assuredly gets a mention.

I jam a lot of Ab-Soul before my fights. Hearses by  Smoke Dza ft. Ab-Soul is my current hype song

I jam a lot of Ab-Soul before my fights. Hearses by Smoke Dza ft. Ab-Soul is my current hype song

We had gotten our match-ups and I had drawn the defending champion. the best thing before warm-ups is food & sleep. We ate and for the most part we slept. Coach popped in and slept for a few hours then we all got up and headed to war a few hours later. When we arrived getting bout sheets was like pulling teeth. Bout sheets tell you when you fight. For a team such as ours these are very important and EVERYBODY on all teams wants one ASAP. The order in which you fight dictates when to wrap your hands, when to warm up and when to prepare for your fight. They are pretty important. The people in charge of these always seem to either not print enough of these or have some stupid attitude when you ask for one. When I say attitude I mean they act like it hurts them to give you a bout sheet, something that all coaches need. USA Boxing ya’ll need to hire some more customer service oriented people to work these USA Boxing events. I will say that this event ran better than the other lesser events.

Arkansas State Golden Gloves

Arkansas State Golden Gloves

I digress. So we get the sheets and the seven of us competing are pretty spread out which is good. I was last AKA the main event of the night. As time went by my teammates all put on great performances, even in losing. Yaya lost but put on a great show. Brannon Continue reading

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What’s Going On In My Neck Of The Woods

Well I’m  about a month and a half later than I would have liked to be on this post haha! By my views on the site you guys haven’t left me *tear* that means a lot :D. But seriously it’s UPDATE TIME! When I last left you, I was fresh off of my second fight. My second fight in the USA Boxing circuit ended with a TKO VICTORY!!! This was back in February. I finished my opponent in the second round after he could not continue. That was a confidence booster and so much more. I felt sick as a dog before the fight. I got so nervous before I had to take a nap to calm my nerves. It’s the weirdest feeling in the world and only recently did I figure out how to deal with it, more on that later. My next fight took us to Alma, AR at the Agape Youth Ranch. That day…just never felt good. The day never felt wrong or bad or like anything bad was going to happen but it just I still can’t explain what was going on that day with me here two months later. I was fighting a guy I knew I could beat and whose coach had been waiting for me to get more fights to challenge his heavyweight. I was psyched so much so that I was not nervous. That’s bad. My first coach always told me if you are not nervous, something is wrong. You should have butterflies in your stomach. I did not on this day and I continued to fight the urge to say something. It seemed to take FOREVER for my fight to come. Two of my teammates had already lost and another won in dramatic fashion. My coach had been penalized because a referee got his feelings hurt. He had been banished from ringside to the crowd…three feet away. If you didn’t catch my sarcasm there catch it now lol. When my turn finally came I had no thoughts, another peculiar fact. I usually have four million thoughts racing through my mind before I clash leather. The fight was…meh. This “Taco” kid was afraid of contact. I thought that would make this easy but it in fact did not. His punches were so telegraphed I saw them a mile away. I think, because his punches were so easily dodged, I dodged early and got out of position. He of course could not hit me, but I in turn could not hit him either. It was boring. He held me way too much, it bordered cheating. Anyway I lost the decision still as pretty as I was when I got in the ring. He was bleeding and swollen from the few times I did hit him. He even came and apologized for hugging me during the fight. I kept my cool, as my coach had just gotten through telling me about how to lose with character, and told him it’s fine and honor to you for winning. In my head though…I was like “GET THE F*** OUTTA MY FACE YOU SORRY BASTARD!” I was a tad bit emotional haha. Anyway that was a teaching moment for so many reasons.

Next up was practice for two weeks until the biggest moment of my career so far, Golden Gloves. The state championship was merely two weeks away after training for a year the time was upon our gym to shine like we know how. Before that we would have a grueling practice schedule, Gym Wars and then another week of two-a-days. In case you don’t know two-a-days consist of twice the workout you would normally have. Twice the running, twice the sparring, twice the pain and suffering of boxing practice. The payoff? State Gold around your neck.


Gym Wars is an event we put on at StraightRight Boxing and Fitness. It is essentially an open workout we invite the public to so we can raise money for trips to National Events. We are doing it again this weekend look down further in the post for details

After Gym Wars and one more week of cutting weight and a strict diet Golden Gloves came. This was the first time since my adolescence that I had been even remotely thinking of being at this event. Here I am after seven years of training off an on and not having a coach, here I am on an elite team, with elite coaches, fighting for the chance to go to regionals and subsequently Las Vegas for nationals. I was pumped and as nervous as a lion on its first hunt!

Weigh-ins came and went, then there was food, then the dreaded waiting game. I knew that I had been training to beat one name, Jermaine Reed. The defending champion and favorite to win the super heavyweight championship again this year. No one expects me to win this, nobody even knows my name. As a young and new fighter with only three fights under my belt, I was most assuredly looked over and not given a second thought. My team and my friends know but my opponents have no idea of the rage I am about to unleash on any and everyone across me in the ring. Before I get to the meat and taters let’s slow it down real quick.

A few days before my coach sat me down for a heart to heart to figure out where my head was. He wanted, in my mind, to see where my mental strength was or came from. I had proven physically that I’m ready and far beyond where I should be for a person with three fights. But, mentally I may not have shown him the nail in the coffin. He asked me what my goals where in the sport. Is it Golden Gloves? Is it competition? “What are you fighting for Bernard?” he asked. I responded in the most honest way I could, “Well coach, ever since Kalvin brought it up, I want to go to the Olympics in 2016.” With that I felt relieved. I myself had not REALLY thought of why I wanted to box, compete, or destroy my body and heal it leading to a better Bernard. That was it. I want to represent my country at the 2016 Olympics and show the world that heavyweight boxing is NOT the fight you overlook on the fight card. I alone, can prove this is still the premiere fighting class in any sport. There were so many people in my weight class along with 165lb and 178lb weight classes that we had been told that this would be a two day event and finals would be the following week for those classes. This was to be a single elimination tournament style with fights on day one, day two, another week of training and then finals.

The team was relaxing after weigh-ins at a friends house and coach calls with the match-ups. Who did I get the first round? The defending champion! I was pumped up! Let’s go ahead and knock off the champ in the first round and then coast through the rest of the tournament!

To be continued…


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