Charlotte, NC - March 22, 2005 A Charlotte woman has won the female amateur heavyweight boxing championship of the United States. The new champ is 26 year old Tameka Stephans, who trains at the Charlotte Boxing Academy and is coached by Al Simpson, head boxing coach for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation.
Tameka, who weighs-in at 189 pounds, won the championship title at the Boxing USA tournament in Colorado Springs this past weekend. Ned Pollock, director of the Charlotte Boxing Academy, says, “Boxing USA is the major amateur boxing association in the United States, and the association that oversees competition for the US Olympics.”
INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY: Will Tameka Stephans turn professional? Could she become “a Million Dollar Baby?” Stephans and Coach Simpson, just back from the national tournament, will discuss with reporters the significance of her national title and her plans for the future on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 at 6 p.m. at the Charlotte Boxing Academy. The academy is located in an old textile plant at 407 East 36th Street, in the “NoDa community,” off North Davidson Street. Tameka will also will also spar and pound the punching bag for photographers.
The Charlotte Boxing Academy is a partnership between a club of the same name and the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department. On most weeknight evenings, 30 to 40 boys and young men train there for amateur boxing competition. An occasional woman or two joins the training. Tameka became a regular two years ago.
“I love the competition of it,” Tameka says, “I love the sport of boxing.” It’s not fighting, she insists, “it’s a lot of technique, being smart, and it’s great conditioning.”
Coach Simpson has taken many boxers to state and regional championships and has coached boxers in top national competition before. He is a former Army boxing coach, a former coach of USA teams in international competition. Simpson has been trainer for two USA boxing Olympic Teams.
Wayne Weston, Director of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation says “this title is indicative of the department’s continuous pursuit of collaborations with service partners such as the boxing academy. Tameka and Coach Simpson represent the achievement of success guided by superior leadership and relentless hard work. All of which are in keeping with the strong foundation and tradition of the staff of the Mecklenburg County Department of Park & Recreation.”
For more information on the Charlotte Boxing Academy, call Coach Al Simpson at 704-241-0314 (mobile).