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A change of scenery, and possibly a warmer wardrobe, is on tap for Wilson professional boxer Kelvin King.
King, who owns a 5-0-1 record as a pro with four knockouts, recently made the decision to sign with Wisconsin-based management company Team Certified Sports.
The significance of the change is twofold. All six of King’s previous bouts were contested in North Carolina, a state that continues to battle a subpar reputation on boxing’s national scene. Ostensibly, King will now be able to take bouts in other regions of the country. Secondly, King, a Wilson native, will move from his home base in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to camp with other TCS fighters in Wisconsin. Such a move wasn’t required, but King opted to do so.
Previously, the 24-year-old King was under contract to Payne Boxing, a Charlotte-based management company headed by attorney Gardner Payne. He hasn’t fought since February, when he battled his way to a six-round unanimous decision over Andre Baker. King was scheduled to climb in the ring in May as part of “Bull City Beatdown 3” put on by Christy Martin Promotions, but several injuries to fighters on the card, not including King, caused the event to be canceled.
The timeframe of his next fight, and the first under new management, is slated to take place in September, according to Marsha Talley, King’s new manager.
“It’s not necessarily a disagreement,” King said of his decision to move on. “Just not on the same understanding. For the most part, just moving forward to bigger and better things. It’s not necessarily bigger and better things, but more opportunity. If I can’t have the same understanding on something, then it’s just moving on. No hard feeling towards my old management, but just having disagreements takes us to departure and going separate ways.”
Without an extensive amateur background to his name, King, now the only North Carolina fighter represented by his new company, has had to build a fan following on the basis of his pro performance. That included Talley, who actually met King three years ago at a Christy Martin Promotions card before he turned pro. The pair reconnected in June as King evaluated other management options.
“For the most part, when it comes to me building my brand, it’s good for me to get out of my backyard and go fight someone else,” King said. “That’s also going to prepare me for the big stage, for the televised fights that’s to come. But (signing with TCS) definitely sets that up for the opportunity for me to fight outside (North Carolina).”
The allure of television may be closer than ever before for King. Talley said that her company has been represented on four major undercard fights in the last seven weeks, with two of those ending up on television. More TV appearances are expected to be in the works, with Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 cited as a possible example.
King’s ability to get inside and attack the body, coupled with his ability to take a punch, make him an intriguing welterweight prospect.
“That’s what I plan to do with Kelvin,” Talley said. “Get him trained up and tightened up, and if the opportunity opens up for television, I’m putting him on a list of the fighters that I do have for TV, that will be good for TV.”
King is aware he has a target on his back.
“From day one, that’s one thing I’ve always been preparing for — the better,” King said. “First off, boxing gets younger. It don’t get older. They’re always looking for younger talent. Not only younger talent, but I’ve got an ‘0.’ And I’ve got five wins. So with that being understood by me, I know someone wants that 0. No matter if I was 3-0, 2-0. If they see I haven’t been fighting anybody, that’s a chance for them to get that 0. But for the most part, that’s something that I’ve always been looking forward to. Me getting with a new promotion with a 5-0 record, it’s a good move and it’s something to be expected from myself.”