Debuting fighter gives Lincoln Neighborhood Center win in rivalry boxing matchup
By Robyn Murrell
When Bill Ismael decided not to relocate to Haiti with his mother, it was because the 21-year-old amateur fighter had a different plan for his life.
The plan led him to Tallahassee and the Lincoln Neighborhood Center’s boxing gym.
“I got a taste of boxing when I was 14,” said Ismael. “Because of certain situations I had to leave it alone for a few years and I got back into it when I was 20.”
This past Saturday, Ismael won his first amateur fight in a one-day tournament hosted by the Lincoln Neighborhood Center. The event, an annual fund-raiser for the club, took place at the National Guard Armory where teams from throughout the Southeast competed in 15 bouts.
Ishmael found himself in a slugfest from the outset. Both Ismael and his opponent from rival Tallahassee’s Brickhouse Boxing exchanged their best shots until the final bell. Although Ishmael seemingly grew tied by the second round, his trainer Tyrese Williams was pleased with his performance.
“From 1-10, I give him an 8 which isn’t bad at all,” said Williams. “It was his first bout and he did great. I want him in more condition and more training.”
While there are three boxing gyms in Tallahassee, the night’s obvious rivalry matchup pitted boxers from Brickhouse Boxing Club and the Lincoln Center. It’s a friendly rivalry that can only help grow the sport in the city, trainers said.
“It’s all good fun Lincoln versus Brickhouse,” said Williams. “We always spare against each other. We always press and push each other. That’s what it’s all about; the art of boxing.”
This time, Coach Darnell Baker and his Brickhouse team won out 2-1 in head-to-head matchups.
“Very rarely are we pitted against each other,” Baker said. “We are a family. We work together as trainers and put Tallahassee against the rest.”
With his win being the lone one for the host team, Ishmael relished the victory.
“It’s a hard competition to decide which is the better gym,” he said, “but I’m not surprised I won, Tyrese raise soldiers.”