Eric Chatman has come a long way in a short period of time. The former St. Stanislaus Rockachaws running back and 2013 high school graduate, has had only two amateur bouts under his belt.
Those two wins, qualified the 6-2, 227 pound Super Heavyweight to compete in the 2017 National Golden Gloves Boxing Championships that got underway in the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana Monday night.
Chatman said, "It's a huge honor because I feel there's not enough positive light shined on Mississippi. We're all hard working good people down here. We deserve the spotlight every now and then. That's what I plan to do. Come back a winner."
Chatman says his uncle, Aaron Norwood, a former pro boxer who lives in Hattiesburg, made a huge impact on his young boxing career.
"I learned the game through his eyes just watching him, "said Chatman. "He was my role model growing up. He was just everything. It means a lot to have him in my corner."
Norwood said, "They try to make smaller people into heavyweights and it's to a disadvantage, but he's a legitimate heavyweight. He's championship material."
Chatman's boxing career took a positive step in the right direction when he began training with former amateur and pro fighter Louis Callahan, who was a member of the 1988 USA Olympic team. Callahan has his own training facility in the backyard of his Long Beach home.
Callahan said, "Right now he's learning boxing as he fights and he's adding tremendous power, distance. He's got a good left hook to the body and head and I'm excited about it. Excited about it."
Chatman is 22-years-old, so he hopes to turn pro as soon as possible to begin a pro career in the heavyweight ranks.
Chatman will step inside the ring Tuesday night, looking for a big win to advance in the tournament.
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