Lightweight Nick Sullivan learned from Pernell Whitaker the importance of staying focused – Boxing Sports

Norfolk, Virginia – It was the afternoon before Christmas, but there was a lot of turmoil at the Norfolk Hit Squad Boxing Club. A single ring warehouse near the Virginia waterfront usually has a dozen boxers flipping sandbags and jumping rope.

But that day, only undefeated lightweight outlook Nicholas Sullivan and his trainer Sean Wilson were in the building. Holidays at the gym are not new. The two share their birthday and instead skip the cake to put a round in the punch mitt.

“If Nick tells me to go to the gym, he’ll come,” said Wilson, who has been training 22-year-old Sullivan since he was nine. “He is motivated.”

Sullivan (2-0, 1 knockout) signed with Golden Boy Promotions in August 2019 after more than 120 amateur careers including the 2014 USA Junior National Championship title and 2018 national runner-up. Golden Gloves turned professional. Sullivan fought again in October of that year, but hasn’t fought since.

(to see: Lightweight outlook Nick Sullivan works well on Christmas Eve)

Sullivan was in a festive mood and said he had only one wish from Boxing Santa.

“To get me another fight date. That’s all I need,” said a 5-foot 9-inch lightweight Sullivan who wants to fight five to six times a year. “I don’t need luck, none of them. I mean, be as confident as possible, I don’t need luck. I need to fight again. I believe in myself.

“”I’m doing all this without a fight date, so I always look positive, always look back at the last fight, and say that if I stop now, the next fight won’t look like this. So if I quit now, they will probably give me a fight, so I motivate myself. “

There’s talk of fighting again in February, but training without a fighting day can be difficult, says Sullivan. But he learned the importance of maintaining discipline from the late Pernell Whitaker, the city’s greatest boxer, whom Sullivan met when he was ten. Sullivan’s mom had the hair of Whitaker’s ex-wife at her hairdresser, Exotic Glamor.

Whitaker became his mentor, and after watching his amateur match, he said, “You’re next.” The former four-division champion served as an inspiration for what someone in the same region could achieve in the ring, and as a warning story about what would happen if they lost focus.

“When I came from this area, I had no choice but to like Sweet Pea Whitaker. He was just a motive because no one actually made it from Norfolk,” Sullivan said.

“”[Whitaker] He taught me a lot. Yes, he was motivated so he could train hard inside and outside the ring, but as he got older he taught the kids not to do what he did outside the ring.

(opinion: Replace Confederate statues in Norfolk?Stand up Pernell Whitaker instead)

Trainers Sean Wilson and Sullivan.Photo by Ryan Songaria

Long before fighting with the DAZN card, his mom’s hairdresser was a lot of places in his early fights. Sullivan admitted that he had a problem of anger and would fight the children in his neighborhood, which upset his mother. One day, Gloria Peak, one of the coaches of the 2012 US Olympic boxing team, offered to allow training in the gym. His mother liked the idea.

“She actually said,’I’m going to put you in a place where someone can actually beat you,'” Sullivan recalls.

How was it after putting on the gloves?

“Yeah, it’s boxing, you’re not going to beat them all. But I’ll tell you what. I was beaten, but everyone who beat me definitely got them back. “Sullivan said.

Wilson says the Sullivan jab is his strongest asset as a boxer. He is a world champion such as Shakur Stevenson and Rau’shee Warren, as well as Key Shawn Davis (who grew up Sullivan from Norfolk) and Bruce Carrington.

“Within the next five years, Norfolk will be like Washington DC becoming a world champion,” Wilson said.

Sullivan says it’s an honor to share the ring with that level of talent, but he doesn’t get a star track.

“When I enter the ring with such top athletes, I imagine myself as follows. This is where I should be because I am also a top athlete,” Sullivan said. It was.

Ryan Songalia has contributed to ESPN, New York Daily News, Rappler, and The Guardian and is a member of the 2020 Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism class. [email protected]

– Boxing Sports

Lightweight Nick Sullivan learned from Pernell Whitaker the importance of staying focused Lightweight Nick Sullivan learned from Pernell Whitaker the importance of staying focused

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