By Sylvana Ambrosanio

08/20/13

"I like to think of myself as the Black Mickey Ward! I stood by my mothers side through drug addiction and homelessness. And hell, my mom stood by my side when I was being a trouble maker.  I box full time, I'm a community leader full-time and I'm a loving father full-time. November 2 it's going to be Hammertime!" Amateur Boxer Kevin "HammerTime" Strothers talks to SylvanaBoxing about his amateur career, life and his plans on turning pro soon.

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SA: Kevin, thanks for talking to SylvanaBoxing today. How are you?

KS: I'm doing super good! Always more to be grateful for than to complain about.

SA: How about we start off with introducing you to our readers?

KS: Lets do it! Outside the ring, Kevin Strothers is all about my people! When I say my people, I mean my community. I have dedicated a large portion of my time, talent, and treasure to helping troubled youth. Things I do for fun are spending time with my family, creating new things, business planning, learning and educating, and whooping ass in NBA 2k, accepting all challengers! (laughs) 

SA: How and where did you grow up?

KS: I grew up with some obstacles, like we all have, in the heart of Seattle. My mom went to the penitentiary when I was young. I battled with homelessness and did some shelter hopping when she returned, but I always excelled in school. No matter where I had to commute from, I made it work. My mom had a huge impact in my life, through our ups and downs, she taught me optimism. There is ALWAYS a bright side! My granny taught me love, and hard work. She took me in, and owned property. The ironic thing is, I was the only kid living in the projects, shopping at Nordstrom's. She taught me to dream big and always be above your situation. I always had the choice to live with her, but I'm LOYAL, so I stood by my mothers side through drug addiction and homelessness. And hell, my mom stood by my side when I was being a trouble maker. I think we're even. 

SA: What got you involved in boxing in the first place?

KS: I got involved in boxing through a friend. I was getting into a lot of fights at school, and he invited me to the gym. I LOVED IT, and still do! The more I became indulged in the sport, the more I fell in love. Learning the craftiness, skill, and what it takes to win challenged me mentally. I'm always up for a challenge.

SA: What about your youth, have you ever been in trouble or have been a troublemaker?

KS: Definitely, I was a traditional class clown growing up! Stayed getting kicked out and hated authority! A lot of my partners were in the streets, I rocked with them, but always had my limits. I knew my mind would get me out of the hood. I stayed out of the courts until I was a young adult. Got some felony trouble, and learned from my mistakes! My rubs didn't irritate me, only polished my mirror. Now I help young cats that are at where I was, and show them a better way.

SA: Where did you start out?

KS: I first laced up a pair of gloves at Hilman City Boxing Gym in Seattle, WA. I feel boxing found me. My friend invited me, and the coach used to pick me up and drop me off. I stuck with it because it was challenging, and I was a natural. I did exceptionally well even with seasoned pros.

SA: What role does boxing play in your life? Is it more like a game to you or a lifestyle?

KS: Boxing is my life! This sport has taught me a new way to live. For every action, there is a reaction; and for every move there is a counter. I'm proactive and always on my toes! I am aggressive, charming, and know when to relax and wait for the perfect opportunity. This transpires to everything a person does in life. 

SA: Do you do boxing full time?

KS: I box full time, I'm a community leader full-time and I'm a loving father full-time. I'm actually fighting the fight of my life right now to be with my sons, pray for me y'all! I know God got it though! So to better answer your question, yes. Full-time to me means 100% committed, and I AM!

SA: How does your family feel about you fighting?

KS: My beautiful fiancé is 100% behind me, the youth I mentor love it, my homies got my back, and my grandma hates it! She thinks I'm too handsome. (Until she seen how much we can make) (laughs)

SA: You have an amateur record of 3-4. Tell us about your amateur career so far?

KS: I started off with blemishes and really didn't get the concept of this sport. But through a new coach, and a dynamite team we have been turning things around! I like to think of myself as the Black Mickey Ward! 



SA: Do you have a fight coming up?

KS: In October. I AM MAKING MY PROFESSIONAL DEBUT IN NOVEMBER!

SA:  So now is the right time to turn pro?

KS: Yes, November 2 it's going to be #Hammertime! I have developed a right hand that is a force to be reckoned with, my team is AMAZING, and my defense is constantly improving. I know it's time, most of all, because my confidence and faith have grown. All signs say green light GO!

SA: How would you describe your boxing style?

KS: My coach would like to describe me as a counter-puncher, but I am so hungry sometimes that goes out the window and it is time to KILL! "The best defense is a good offense!". My coach has compared me to Julian "The Hawk" Jackson and I'm flattered to have been compared to Ward before, although I know I still have work to do. 

SA: Why should the boxing fans keep an eye on you and what makes you special?

KS: I'm filthy! I have great hand speed, I am crafty, fun to watch, and I have charisma. I like to entertain as much as I like to fight! 

SA: What do you have planned next and through 2013?

KS: A lot of traveling, and a lot of growth. I want to fight EVERYWHERE! From UK to LA! I plan on going as far as God will allow me to go! This year will be LIMITLESS!

SA: Who are your current and all time favorite fighters?  

KS: Current favorite fighters: Andre Ward (I personally think he is the best in the game), Floyd Mayweather, Gennady Golovkin, and my big bro Walter "2guns" Wright. All time favorites would be Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, and Pernell Whitaker!

SA: Is there anyone you look up to or who inspires you?

KS: My brody Walt. Since I've been on the squad, it's been nothing but love. He is a man of few words, but the one word I took from him the most is CONFIDENCE! It's all about the confidence, and I believe in myself. My lovely fiance Errin and my little boys, Kevin, Honor, and Pharaoh are my inspiration. All the kids I have influenced in the hood are my inspiration.

SA: Anything else you would like to tell your supporters and our readers?

 KS: Keep your eyes open for @Hammertime_kev!! Shoutout to my day 1's, Reg, Tay, Swagg, Dre Baby, and Zack! All the people that have been Loyal to me through thick and thin, I love y'all fa real!