The miraculous boxer who survived a 36-bullet shooting
Undefeated super welterweight prospect Lamont “The Blessed One” Powell, based on a near death experience 2-½ years ago in Providence, could easily have “Lucky” as his nickname.
The 26-year-old Powell was a three-time Silver Mittens champion, who compiled a 45-4 amateur record, prior to turning two years ago. He is 5-0 (1 KO) as a professional but, due to the pandemic, he hasn’t fought since last August, when he won a 4-round unanimous decision over 14-7-1 Ricardo Garcia.
Back on that near fatal night in 2018, Lamont and his uncle were sitting in a car in front of Powell’s home, when another vehicle suddenly and surprisingly stopped near them. Two unidentified young men jumped out and starting firing automatic weapons in Powell’s direction. Thirty-six rounds were shot, one hit Powell’s uncle in the leg, but Powell somehow miraculously escaped without a scratch.
“No bullets hit me,” Powell confirmed. “I’m blessed and the reason for that is God and my mother – we lost her (Melissa) when I was 3 – who is my guardian angel. We were just sitting in a car, when two kids got out of a car and starting shooting our car. They had extended clips, but I don’t know who they were, and neither do the police to this day. My uncle was taken to the hospital and I had to start watching myself closer.”
Powell’s grandparents – Phillip Copper and Mary Ann Powell – brought him up, because his mother had passed away and his father was in and out of his life. His grandmother is his legal guardian and his grandfather has been like a father since he was a baby.
Naturally, after his surreal experience, Powell dramatically changed his lifestyle. Instead of running the streets and ending up like many people he knew, dead or incarcerated, Powell dedicated himself to boxing and created a charity for high-risk kids, Gloves Up, Guns Down, sponsored by Big Six Boxing Academy in Providence, where he trains with his grandfather as head coach, as well as having former U.S. Olympian boxer Jason “Big Six” Estrada in his corner.
After the shooting somebody who had been shot in the head reached out to Powell. They met to talk about what they’d been through and soon created Gloves up, Guns Down, which “blew up” overnight, according to Powell.
“Gloves Up, Guns Down” offers at-risk youngsters an opportunity to try boxing as part of an after-school program aimed to keep kids active and out of trouble. Kids are supplied with boxing equipment and taught valuable lessons through boxing with proper coaching and support.
“I started boxing when I was eight years old,” Powell added. “Boxing kept me off of the streets and busy. This is a sport outside of school that everyone can get involved in.”
Powell is promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Sports and Entertainment (CES). Burchfield clearly remembers the first time he saw Powell, because he was so impressive running a hilly 2 ½ mile course around a pond at Lincoln Woods State Park.
“I walk there often, and I’ve watched everybody struggle running those hills, including top athletes, but I saw this kid running the hills without a problem,” Burchfield remembered. “I later found out that he was a boxer and knew I’d never have to worry about him being in top shape.
“Lamont came to see me with his grandfather, who has been such a big part of his life, and later Roland Estrada joined us. I was impressed because Lamont had a full-time job, yet, he trains so hard. I learned that he came from one of the toughest areas of Providence and ran the streets as a kid. One day, he called and asked if I would go with him to the Met School, where he was going to be speaking to about 150 kids and teachers. He spoke about running the streets and admitted that he had done it all. He said to me that if he could impact the lives of one or two of those kids, he’d feel happy, and that brought tears to my eyes. He was going speak at other schools, but this pandemic has put that on hold for now. His program is No. 1 in his life, helping at-risk kids so they don’t repeat what Lamont did when he was younger.”
In the ring, Powell displays a stiff jab and, of course, tremendous conditioning. And like most boxers, he believes that he’ll be a champion someday.
“Everything is going as planned with CES,” Powell concluded. “My grandfather has been my head coach since day one, Jason also coaches me, and Doc. Estrada is my adviser. Boxing came naturally to me. I just needed to put in the hard work. Someday I will be a champion and I can’t wait to see my grandfather in the ring holding the belt over his head, because nobody deserves that more than him.”
Burchfield has been a boxing promoter for nearly 30 years, and he agrees that Powell will be a champion someday. “He’s definitely is on a mission to be a champion,” Burchfield added, and he has everything needed to make that happen. This kid has a really good story. He can be a champion and continue helping at-risk kids have better lives. What’s better than that?”
Powell, who also gave-away toys to children in need last Christmas at Big Six Boxing Academy, is on the boxing journey of his career that he believes will climax someday with him being crowned world champion.
In short, Lamont Powell is the total package, in and out of the ring. And lucky to be alive!