A boxer from Maryland is one of two Americans who recently won world titles, which no American had won since 2007.
“It’s like, I did it. All this hard work paid off. World champion,” Jahmal Harvey said.
Harvey won featherweight gold at the AIBA International Boxing Association world championships.
“It's still sinking in to this day,” said Campus Gym’s Darrell Davis, who coaches Harvey. “It still ain't hit me; it still ain't hit me yet.”
Davis was also Harvey's former football coach.
“He always had it, even on the football,” Davis said. “He was just as good at football as boxing, and the only thing about football is that he just wasn't growing, and I just saw the talent in him and asked his father and his mother, 'Can I transfer him over to boxing?'"
“When he took him to spar, I remember the first night; I couldn't believe it, actually,” said Harvey’s father, Jamarr Moody. “He called me and said, ‘Man, we got one; we got one.”
At the championship held in Serbia earlier this month, the 19-year-old Oxon Hill native beat the previous champion in the second round of the tournament.
“I always knew, but after that fight, it definitely was a big confidence booster,” Harvey said. “I’m like, if he won this tournament and I just beat him easily, I knew that my skills and my talent were just going to take me far in that tournament.”
“It's like you're the head coach and your quarterback won the Heisman,” Davis said. “It's that type of feeling, and it’s just all that he's been through -- the naysayers, doubters. There's nothing to talk about. No more. Nothing. I'm proud of him.”
Harvey isn't in a rush to turn professional. There are other things he wants to achieve in boxing first.
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“He's going back to Russia to go fight in February, and in 2024 Olympics,” Davis said. “That's what we’re shooting for and, um, he's just ready.”
“He's building a name for himself, so if he does decide to turn pro, he’ll already have a name for himself. Everybody’s looking forward to Jahmal Harvey,” said his mother, Kim Harvey.
“I feel good,” Jahmal Harvey said. “I made history, snapped a 14-year streak of not getting a gold, so it's a big accomplishment.”
Harvey will have a meet-and-greet at Rosecroft Raceway from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. He will sign autographs and is hoping to recruit more boxers for his gym.