When Lamont Roach Jr. steps in the ring to open the pay-per-view card tonight, a lot is on the line.
The fighting pride of Capital Heights, Maryland will be fighting for his second world title, but also with the memory of Bernard Roach, a/k/a/ Coach Boogaloo.
Roach, who faces Hector Luis Garcia, will be vying for the WBA super featherweight title, on the pay-per-view undercard of the November 25th, David Benavidez versus Demetrius Andrade WBC ‘interim' super middleweight world title fight.
The familial bonds intertwine with the quest for accountability, there exists a place aptly named “NoXcuse Boxing Gym” in Capital Heights, Maryland.
The gym is run by Roach's father, Lamont Sr., and with his brother, and great amateur ‘The Iceman' Jordan Roach working his way up to becoming a possible Olympian in 2024.
The start of the gym was a passion project that was the result of a two-decade collaboration between Lamont and his cousin, Bernard Roach, affectionately known as Boogaloo.
Boogaloo, a former decorated amateur boxer and firefighter, transitioned into mentoring and training youth, laying the foundation for what would become a boxing haven. Boogaloo was a beloved figure in the gym, and his spirit seems to still linger with all the fighters from No Xcuses, even the ones who never knew which are few and far between.
Boogaloo's journey began in a local gym named “Fight To Fit.” Fueled by a desire to create something uniquely their own, Lamont was enlisted to help.
The early days were far from glamorous, marked by sacrifices and nomadic existence in various garages, firehouses, and backyards. Essentially wherever they could find a place to step-up shop that was the gym. The journey felt endless, but in 2006, NoXcuse Boxing Gym finally found a home in a warehouse, complete with a boxing ring—a serendipitous turn of fate.
As the gym took shape, Lamont Roach Jr., initially more inclined towards football turned his focus to boxing. Roach Jr. is the face of No Xcuses Boxing Gym as he has been there from the beginning. As fighters such as D'Mitrius Ballard and Steve Geffard joined the ranks, it was Lamont Roach Jr. eventually signing with Golden Boy Promotions in 2014, and viewed as a top prospect.
East Coast Fighter With West Coast Company
This was at a weird point in boxing, and now things have come full circle. Golden Boy Promotions seemingly housed all of Al Haymon's fighters at the time, but all of those fighter migrated to Premier Boxing Champions – which became essentially the Haymon place of business in boxing.
Roach was with Golden Boy Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions had to rebuild during his developmental years which saw him not get the notoriety of his peers at the time. Add to it, Roach Jr was an East Coast fighter fighting for a West Coast based company, as he was struggling to land fights that show how many tickets he could sell.
Then tragedy struck.
The unexpected death of Boogaloo in 2017 cast a shadow, but the courage of Lamont Roach Sr. steadfastly continued the program, with Lamont Roach Jr being the guiding light. His light has spawned the next wave of the gym which is Benjamin Johnson and Jordan Roach.
Roach Jr Lost First Title Crack, Trying Again
Roach Jr lost his first attempt at a world title, but was undeterred. He stayed patient and waited for this moment.
Not unlike Demetrius Andrade who gave a thank you speech at his media day for the David Benavidez fight, Roach Jr. might be talking trash, but he is also looking to carry on the legacy of his fighting family.
The gym hasn't quite had the world champion they envisioned. Roach Jr lost his title fight, Mike Reed never got there, but now through trial and error, they are set to make it it happen – in the name of Boogaloo.
As the gym served as a mentorship space at first, now it has evolved into a gym that also promotes fights as Lamont Roach Sr., got tired of trying to look for fights.
The gym is a do-it-yourself place, and now this a moment that Roach look to create his own destiny as Hector Luis Garcia lost to a DMV native in his last fight in Gervonta Davis, and Roach Jr is looking to continue that streak.