Nov 5 – As Josh Gray navigates the world of boxing, he has a steady and experienced hand to guide him.
Gray is a top amateur fighter from Booneville. The 20-year-old has had an illustrious career so far – he has won two junior Olympic tournaments and he has won two Golden Gloves – one in Mississippi and one in Florida. He plans to go pro next year.
Gray on this path directs his father Brad Gray, himself a former boxer. He was a high-ranking amateur and trained with the likes of former world heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe.
Brad experienced the ins and outs of a sport that has long been plagued by corruption and manipulation.
“One thing I realized is, no one is going to take care of Josh, promote him, and make his career the way I want it to be. It’s a dirty game,” said Brad.
That can be especially true for aspiring prospects like Josh, who struggles as a super light weight (135 pounds). Brad has told aspiring coaches to move west west: “You won’t get Josh unless you get me.”
Josh agrees to the arrangement. His father has been working with him since he first put on a pair of boxing gloves at the age of 7. Josh had his first amateur fight when he was 9 and at that point he was hooked.
“I live with him, so to let him come home just to tell me, ‘Okay, let’s go man, let’s go train, let’s go train’, that’s one of the biggest things because he’s me driving there, “said Josh called. “I already have this drive in me, but it also gives me an additional little boost.”
Josh is currently training in Orlando and has a big fight ahead of him in December. The fight will be a homecoming of sorts for Gray. There is hope that a deal can be worked out for the battle in Corinth, though tunica is an option.
“I’m really looking forward to just having all of my people there,” he said.
Gray fought at Oxford on October 9, beating Kyle Peters of Lubbock, Texas in the third round.
The story goes on
Gray would like to have a few more fights like this before he turns pro. He wanted to do it this year, but his father preached patience.
“Josh is very marketable. So the longer we stay with the amateurs, the more people will know who he is,” said Brad.
Josh bought his way into the plan. He knows his time is coming and he said he will be ready for it.
“He knows what’s best for me, and I just sit back, listen to my pops, and move on from there. Next year would be the best. I’m still young, I’ve just turned 20. “