GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - He's a minority business owner, a personal trainer, and earned his claim to fame in the world of boxing by fighting boxers like Roy Jones, Jr. Former amateur middle weight boxer Louis Callahan, also known as Little Tyson, said his impact to the black community is in the way he carries himself and how he improves people's health through his fitness training.
It's been a long time since Callahan fought against professional boxers. Currently, he has traded in his gloves to help others fight off the weight.
Callahan started boxing at a young age. Though he was good, he said his friends' desire to pursue other sports like football and basketball tempted him to do the same.
"I kinda knew I was kinda good at it, but really when I started seeing Roy Jones win a lot of tournaments, and I was like you know, if I fought him I can beat him," said Callahan.
In 1987, he started eying the Olympics.
"I fought in the Olympic trials in 1988. Actually, they had regions, so they had the southern region, which was held at the Mississippi Coliseum, and we won that, and this is all to go to the Olympics. It's like the Olympic trials. I went to the box off, which was in the Superdome, and actually, I was doing pretty good," Callahan explained.
Due to an eye injury, Callahan withdrew. In 1989, he was tapped to represent the U.S. against Korea at the Superdome, but lost.
"That kind of pushed me back mentally," he said.
Callahan left the sport after that to work for his family's timber business and to raise a family of his own. Years later, his love for boxing was reignited when a friend asked him to teach it at his gym.
"I was like, it's for my boy. I will. So, I started like a little box aerobics, and it kinda took off from there. My coach used to tell me all the time you know you always coaching, and that was just something I always probably did," said Callahan.
He is now changing lives through boxing. After being diagnosed with diabetes and weighing over 400 pounds, Rymsky Labat started working out with Callahan. Since then, she's lost close to130 pounds.
"Being a southern lady, you want to not fight and use your hands. You want to use your words right, but I did find that it was a great stress reliever for me," Labat said.
"He's focused on helping us get fit and healthy, and that's not just the black community, either. I think Mississippi as a whole are just overweight, and we have a whole host of health problems that are directly related to and affected by our weight," said Dawn Stough.
"When I see my black community and my black people overweight, of course I want to help them, but you know, some people kinda scared of me. They think I'm gonna hurt them, but naaw, I give them what they give me," Callahan said.
To learn more: Callahan's Boxing and Fitness Training Camp.