There was a time in boxing when New York was the melting pot for blue-chip talent. Somewhere along the lines, that stopped being the case, and the talent started to come from other places on the map that wasn't NY. Some say that the cost of living has steered most away from picking up the gloves and learning the sweet science as providing a healthy household became even more important with the rising cost of things.
It's been a while since New Yorkers were excited about a fighter, but twenty-five-year-old featherweight Bruce “Shu-Shu” Carrington (3-0) is looking to restore that feeling. Carrington comes from the mean streets of Brownsville, Brooklyn, and making it out of there is no guarantee. Carrington was fortunate enough to grow up with both of his parents in the same household, along with three brothers and a sister. It is probably an understatement to say it was a full house, but collectively, they made it work. Carrington's parents, like all parents, wanted more for him so that he didn't become a stereotypical kid from Brooklyn. His parents did that as Carrington's mother was strict regarding school, while his father was the same with boxing.
For those that don't know, Brownsville, Brooklyn is like most hoods in NY, where violence and tragedy happen so often that most are numb to it. Carrington was no different as he understood that you couldn't control your surroundings at a very young age. The experience of a lobby filled with weed smoke and people getting killed outside of the building was just another day living in the hood.
Because Carrington experienced some of these things at such a young age, the trauma that comes along with those experiences can be just as taxing on someone as the incident itself. Carrington told NYF,” I remember when I was like five years old, it was the first time I saw someone get killed. I saw someone get stabbed in the back, and that was a traumatic experience for me. As I grew up and continued to see some of the same things, I realized that it was just a normal thing, which is sad to say. Although growing up in Brownsville, there were a lot of tough things to get over; my parents did a really good job of keeping me out of trouble and showing me what was important.”
Although Carrington's parents did their best to keep their children away from the things occurring outside of their household, their son Michael Hayden suffered an untimely death. You can tell it still weighs heavy on the young Carrington, but he does his best to stay strong for his brother, who is watching over him. Carrington said, “Back in 2014, my brother was shot and killed. He was just going to buy the new Grand Theft Auto game, and after he bought it, a guy just came up to him and shot him with a 45-caliber gun. He was only twenty-one, and the guy wasn't even trying to rob him as it seemed like it was some sort of gang initiation type of thing.” Hearing that gave me the chills as a family could lose a loved one just that quickly because of their environment.
Carrington continued, “My brother was my best friend and was the only person that understood me. If I ever had any issues or was misunderstood by anyone or my parents, I would always go to my brother. He would always tell me that he had confidence in me if I didn't have any confidence in myself. He made me feel really secure and was my guardian angel.” As close as they were and still are, Carrington represents his brother in every fight by having “Forever Ike” on every part of his fight outfit. Since Bruce is from the very same city as the Hall of Famer Mike Tyson, Carrington comes out with a similar towel over his body. Because of it, fans get it mixed up and think “Forever Ike” refers to Tyson, but in reality, it's honoring his brother Michael.
Shifting the focus back to boxing, Carrington's last fight came up, and the highlight reel knockout he served to his opponent, Yeuri Andujar (5-5-1). Looking to get the insight from Carrington himself on how it all played out, he smiled and said, “I felt like the round before I stopped him, he started to gas out because I invested a lot to the body. I knew that when he came out strong in the fifth, he was going to gas out, and I just needed to stay patient. I know that when boxers do that, they have about thirty to forty-five-second burst before they slow down.”
Carrington continued, “So I landed a few shots in between his, stayed patient, and when he started to wither away, it was time to pick my shots and sit down on them. He threw a lazy jab, and I threw my right hand over the top like a hook/uppercut while making sure I had a lot of leverage on it. I timed it perfectly, and there he went. I knew the fight was over because of how the punch felt when I connected.”
That knockout was on many Snap Chat, TikTok, and Instagram accounts worldwide. The real question is, was there newfound fame from that impressive knockout? Carrington told NYF,” Before, a few of my people would show me love, but now, it's different. I'm literally driving in Brooklyn, and this guy is walking across the street, and he shouts, ‘that's Bruce Carrington.' I'm getting noticed now, even when I'm walking down the street. It's really a dope experience, and it's what I have worked so hard for. Knowing that the people recognize my craft and appreciate it makes me go harder. This is just the beginning.”
With all of the momentum, Top Rank has placed Bruce Carrington on a high-profile card that is headlined by a light heavyweight unification between Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. It's going to be held at the Hulu Theater inside the Madison Square Garden, but to “Shu-Shu,” it's all about fighting at the Garden and in New York City.
“Being on this card is great. Those two guys are exciting to see. Someone is going to get stopped. A lot of eyes will be on this card because of that fight, which helps me because those eyes will watch me fight. Fighting in the Mecca of boxing back-to-back is a blessing. Fighting in New York is totally different than fighting anywhere else, especially with social media. The big stars fight in NY, so once again, it's a blessing,” said the blue-chip prospect from Brooklyn.
Since turning Pro, Carrington has held his training camps in Las Vegas, NV, whether that's working inside the Top Rank Gym or one of the other local gyms located within the area. While his head coach is Kay Koroma, his father, Bruce Carrington Sr., is second in command and keeps a watchful eye on his son's progress throughout camp. Carrington talked about training in Vegas and said, “It's the best place for boxers in terms of weather conditions, altitude, the thin air, and it's just a good place to that great work from other fighters.”
Although an opponent hasn't been formally announced, I'm sure that upon release of this column, one will be listed on BoxRec. Even though Carrington's name has been buzzing, he is in no rush to expedite his progression. Carrington told NYF,” I'm not expecting to be on a fast pace. I want to be able to have time to build my fan base. I noticed that the top guys fight for about 6-10 years before they become a superstar. I don't want to take that long, but I do want to take the long road in order to become a household name. I feel like being from New York along with living and fighting there will help with my popularity.”
My Three Cents
While speaking to Bruce Carrington, I felt as though I was talking to a seasoned veteran as he spoke with confidence and had a polished execution during the interview. Carrington is starting to get fans excited about his fights, and next Saturday night, he will look to capture more of the attention from the city he proudly represents each time out. Place Bruce Carrington on your radar right now, as he has the tools to become a special talent in the future.