Roman Pulley (left) and Noah Pulley
Photo by Jim Blaylock
In this corner, weighing in at 50 pounds, the 2003 Georgia Amateur Boxing State Champion - Roman Pulley!
And, in this corner, weighing in at 132 pounds, the 2003 Georgia Amateur Boxing State Champion - Noah Pulley!
Brothers Roman and Noah Pulley kept the titles in the family with their recent victories in Carrollton, Ga.
The Pulleys represent the Augusta Boxing Club, where they have been training the past three years. Roman, a third-grader at Brookwood Elementary, captured his title in the 8-9 age division.
"I was happy that I won," Roman said. "I deserved a medal because I had done all that training. Boxing is a great sport, and it's fun."
Noah, an eighth-grader at Columbia Middle School, had to really battle for his crown in the 13-14 age division. The title bout featured some bloodshed, but Noah outlasted his opponent and earned the championship on his 14th birthday.
"When you're in the ring and getting hit, you can't worry about it," Noah said. "You have to pull the strength from inside and give it back to them. It's a sport you have to work hard at. The key is determination."
Intestinal fortitude is a boxer's main asset, but Roman and Noah's mother has got to have some guts, too.
"It's not so much seeing them get hit, it's the people yelling, 'Take his head off!' That's my baby in the ring," Sharyn Pulley said.
Leonard Pulley is a former boxer, and he thought the sport was a perfect way for his sons to get in good physical condition.
As it turned out, Roman and Noah have given boxing their best shot.
"For some reason, they can really take a punch. Now they're doing the pounding," Leonard said. "There's a high turnover rate in this sport, but they've stuck with it. I'm shocked they've taken it this far."
Augusta Boxing Club director and head coach Tom Moraetes has produced his share of champions, and while Roman and Noah are just beginning to tap their potential, Moraetes says boxing's benefits are there for the taking.
"They're hitting the same bags Vernon Forest hit, beating the same bags Jacob Hudson did," Moraetes said. "The shoes they're filling and the steps they're following are athletes that prove you can be successful if you have the talent."
As the Pulleys proved at the 2003 Georgia Amateur Boxing State Championships, they've got some talent.
And they're not ready to retire just yet.
"I might keep on doing this until I turn pro," Roman says.
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