Sometimes you run into someone that you may not be completely familiar with, but you can hear their experiences and resolve in their voice so clear, that it makes you a fan of theirs. Richard Pierson is 1 of those people. Richard Pierson, who has won 7 of his last 8, with 6 of those wins by KO, is 11-2 with
8 KOs will be facing Farah Ennis (19-1 with 12 KOs) in Atlantic City, NJ on the Hank Lundy undercard on July 27th, on ESPN2. However before we get to fight night, I want to give you a sense of what type of man that Richard Pierson is and some of the experiences of his life.
Richard Pierson got into boxing for 1 reason, anger. He had gone through the heartbreak of losing a child and he just wanted some way to get the anger out, so he started boxing. He had his 1st amateur fight at age 21 in 2002. He never realized the talent that he had for the sport of boxing, but within his 1st 5 fights, he already had a New Jersey Golden Gloves title.
However, soon after, he was out the of sport of boxing. Unfortunately, tragedy hit Pierson again as his cousin passed away in 2005 and the anger came back. He wanted other people to feel the pain he did, but this time on a pro level. So he was back in the gym by August and turned pro in October. He faced Ron Lewis, who was also fighting his debut, and Pierson stopped him in rd 1. All of a sudden, after that 1st fight, Pierson said the anger was released and gone. He went on to fight 2 to 3 fights a year for the next 3 years and was out of the sport again.
So in 2008, Pierson was out of the sport and trying to find a way to keep himself alive in the sport. He was self promoting himself and created the name “Bruce Vega”, a name his nieces and nephews liked, as a tag name to get himself back into the sport. Pierson shared a moment which I found ironic since I was interviewing him, he said, “I used that name from 2008-2010, that’s how I got in the door for writing for boxing websites, sitting press row covering fights, and interviewing fighters just like you’re doing with me.”
He continued on to say, “Bruce Vega helped keep Richard Pierson name in the sport of boxing.” Probably the funniest story is how he got the Reynaldo Rodriguez fight in June of 2010, he said, “People would contact me and ask for Bruce Vega and I would give them my number or my brother’s number, that’s how I got the fight in 2010 against Reynaldo.” He continues to sometimes use that name when he mentors and talks to youths like at the Alexander Hamilton Academy and the YMCA in Paterson, which he still does today.
I asked if he was at his weight now to fight or if he’s rounding himself into shape for his fight at 168, next week. He said that he’s actually a naturally small guy and can go as low as 154, so he has to eat to keep his weight up, he only looks bigger in the ring because of his physique. Most people try to spar with heavier people, which Pierson does like, but he said, “I’ll spar with whoever wants to spar with me, I’d like bigger guys except if I’m facing a guy that throws a lot of punches, but it doesn’t matter to me.”
He’s also a guy that truly believes in himself, as he doesn’t research his opponents, he just wants to go out and do what he does saying, “If I study my opponent, I’m not studying myself.” I asked if he expects to come out aggressive or a wait and see approach, he responded, “I can’t predict that, I can just go out there and be myself, I have to make adjustments on the fly. If I come out aggressive, I may get caught.” He also acknowledges it’s going to be his 1st 10 rd bout, so this maybe a bit different territory for him.
Finally I asked him about his future plans, he’s had some previous opponents, like Gary Jones and Aaron Mitchell cancel out on him for various reason, medicine mix ups, not making weight, etc, which has gotten him the nickname, “The Career Killer”. He said, “I have no beefs with anyone, so I’m not going to call them out, if they want to fight, and my team makes the fight, then of course.”
When I was done speaking with him, the statement that really makes you want to root for this guy is when I asked who he wanted next, and his response was, “I don’t call out names. I don’t even know how I got blessed with this fight. A fighter that calls out names is calling out for money, money comes with the sport, but I’m not in the sport for money.” If that doesn’t make you a fan, I don’t know what will.
Richard Pierson can be reached through his Facebook page “RichardT.P.PiersonFanPage”. No matter what happens next week, win or lose, Richard Pierson will continue to be a role model and a mentor for a lot of people and in my book that already makes him a winner. Enjoy the fights this weekend.