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* POP PORTER’S A ROLE MODEL FOR YOUTH *

Boxing Coach, James Phelps & Former Olympian, Rolande MosesWayne Creighton
August 30, 2006

NIAGARA FALLS — Calvin ‘Pop’ Porter may never have worn the light-middleweight title belt, but he will always be a champion in the eyes of Jamie Phelps.

Porter was a member of the American Olympic team which boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow before he turned pro in 1982. He fought 13 times as a professional, retiring with a 10-3 record including seven victories by knockout.

Four years ago, Porter was stabbed to death and Phelps felt obligated to do for other youngsters what Porter had done for him.

“He was my mentor and my coach,” said Phelps. “After his passing, I took on the responsibility of doing exactly what he did for me.

“He gave me an opportunity to walk around with a feeling of confidence, not arrogance, just confidence.”

Six months ago, Phelps opened Pop Porter’s boxing club at the corner of Queen Street and Buckley Avenue in Niagara Falls.

While boxing brings the club notoriety, there’s more to Pop Porter’s than jump ropes and heavy bags.

There are video games and music and the club adheres to a concept Phelps describes as Being A Man, or BAM for short.

“BAM is a fledgling organization inspired by young women and men needing positive role models in a safe, supporting environment. We strive to provide young people with programs that will help them develop in a manner which will benefit them as well as their community. Fostering a sense of mentorship, encouraging young people to respect both their bodies and minds. These statements are the foundation of BAM and our sports program,” said Phelps.

“Boxing is just a small aspect of what we do, but it is our and bread and butter.”

Before moving to the present location, Phelps shared facilities with the Shamrock Boxing Club.

“I thought we should build boxers first and then have an establishment so that’s what we did,” said Phelps. We built up the knowledge of the sport and then we went out and established ourselves as a club.

“Right now, I’m confident in saying we are the most advanced novice boxing in the country. “We’re trying to show that we have some talent in this area and expose it in a positive manner.”

© NIAGARA THIS WEEK