Community rallies around visiting boxers with championship training on the ropes
Jamal James and David Morrell Jr. were at training camp when COVID-19 locked down the country. The Barnum Community rallied around the pair so that they could continue their training camp. A thank you event was hosted for community members at the Circle of Discipline Boxing gym in Barnum.
COVID-19 tried to knock boxers Jamal James and David Morrell Jr. out, but the Barnum community kept them fighting to continue training.
The pair were in Barnum working on training at the Circle of Discipline when COVID-19 brought the country to a halt. Not knowing if they should stay and continue to train for upcoming world championships in their weight classes, they faced a difficult choice.
Local businesses and community members rallied around the pair to provide support for their training camp to stay working. The fights the pair were training for were postponed and scheduled for an unknown future date, but their training in Barnum continued.
Both athletes won their rescheduled events. Jones now holds the World Boxing Association (WBA) interim welterweight crown with a unanimous decision over former world title challenger Thomas Dulorme. Morrell defeated ring veteran Lennox Allen to capture the WBA interim super middleweight belt. The pair hosted a thank you ceremony for the area business that helped them continue to train. "The community’s can-do spirit and hospitality broke through the haze of COVID-19 as businesses and residents offered curbside catered meals, laundry services, medical assistance and more," said a press release inviting people to the thank you event.
Circle of Discipline in Barnum also announced their intent to start a youth after-school program. The program will be modeled after a nearly 30 year strong program at a Minneapolis Circle of Discipline facility. James got his start in boxing in that Minneapolis youth program. When COVID-19 allows for normal activities, the program has the goal of providing a safe location for youth to learn, grow and connect with the community all in a training facility where two championship boxers prepared to win.