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December 15, 2016 Published in 2016 Year In Review, Other News, Sports

Alexandria Teen Troy Isley Wins National Boxing Championship; Ranked US #1

Troy Isley representing Alexandria Boxing Club (Photo: Noah Willman)

Troy Isley representing Alexandria Boxing Club (Photo: Noah Willman)

After five back-to-back days of competition in Kansas City, Missouri, T. C. Williams High School senior and Alexandria native Troy Isley emerged victorious at the U.S.A. Boxing National Championship last Saturday, Dec. 10. Isley was crowned National Champion and ranked US #1 in the 165-pound weight class. The tournament served as a qualifier for the U.S. National team, which Isley will now join, representing Team USA in upcoming international competitions.

“It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice for me to get here and it feels great that all the time I put in at the gym paid off. This has been a goal for me for a long time, to win the whole tournament, and I’m happy I can say I’m #1 in the country right now. I feel like no one in the world can beat me at 165 pounds,” said Isley.

This is a big win for Isley, who has trained at Alexandria Boxing Club since age 10, when his father brought him after getting into neighborhood fights. Since coming to the gym, Isley ceased the neighborhood fighting and shifted his focus to the ring, becoming an eight-time National Champion and amassing a record of 89-10. Isley narrowly missed his previous chances to qualify for Team USA. This year, with much anticipation, Isley unseated the ranked #1 Youth Champion in his semi-final bout of the championship in Kansas City.

Training with Alexandria Boxing Club coaches Kay Koroma and Dennis Porter since his first days at the gym, Isley is confident he will continue his amateur success in the future. Next year, he’ll have the chance affirm his claim by competing against champions from around the globe for the coveted World Championship title.

Troy Isley with teammate and Olympic Silver Medalist Shakur Stevenson (courtesy of Alexandria Boxing Club)

Troy Isley with teammate and Olympic Silver Medalist Shakur Stevenson (courtesy of Alexandria Boxing Club)

“This is something he has been chasing for a long time. Ever since he was a young kid, he wanted to become #1 in the world. I’m proud of him. Now he’s going to get the chance to prove it in the Elite division with the National team,” said Coach Kay Koroma. “He’s so calm and quiet outside of the ring, but when he gets in there he transforms,” Coach Koroma said of Isley, whose contrasting, show-stopping style in the ring coined him the nickname “Transformer”.

Next up for Troy Isley – training camp at the Olympic Training Center with Great Britain, followed by a multi-nation camp in Kazakhstan and more international competition leading up to the World Championships in August 2017.

Isley’s win in the U.S.A. Boxing National Championship is the second major accomplishment to come out of the small local boxing club this year. In August, Alexandria Boxing Club member Shakur Stevenson claimed silver at the Rio Olympics with Coach Koroma serving as U.S. Olympic Coach. Other recent club notables are professional World Champion Antoine Douglas, World Bronze Medalist Iesha Kenney, and Bi-National Champion Dara Shen. Established in the early 1980’s, Alexandria Boxing Club aims to keep kids off the street and in the gym, teaching life skills through boxing.

“With him winning this [championship] I see Troy making the Olympic team as long as he listens and stays focused,” said Coach Porter. “I’ve been in this gym since 1982 and seen a lot of fighters. When you see him, you know he’s special. He has natural talent; he’s amazing.”

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