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Posted by / 05-Jan-2015 19:17

But Clark, who passed away in 1998, didn’t care all that much for boxing, so Aaron Jr.kept his distance from the sport, even when his father approached him early in his teen years about trying to get into the ring.“I apologize for the car,” he says sheepishly, directing his eyes toward the back where a baby seat, some old sneakers (size 13), and a few magazines lie. My girlfriend and my mom drive it and I’ve kind of just given up on it.” It’s a smooth ride though, certainly comfortable enough to keep Aaron Jr.’s mind on other matters as he follows the potholed roads to Eden Park. He can’t afford to skimp on any part of the routine. Their connection is especially evident in the face, which packages a combination of the family’s African, American Indian, and Japanese heritage.In particular, there’s last night’s sparring session at the Mt. He’s already two years older than his father was when he won his first belt. Like his dad, Aaron Jr.’s high cheekbones pop out from under a pair of brown almond-shaped eyes that nearly close when he smiles, which is often. was born in June 1978, just as his father was ramping up to make a run at the title; that run ended successfully on August 2, 1980, when he dispatched Antonio Cervantes in four rounds at Riverfront Coliseum to capture the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) junior welterweight crown.And he remembers the big fights, in particular the Champ’s title defense against Alexis Arguello in 1982 at the Orange Bowl, a 14-round slugfest that ended with Aaron Jr. After the celebration, father and son took a victory lap on the stadium track en route to the post-bout press conference. Not a lot of it, because even as the Champ’s life outside the ring quickly descended into drug addiction following his first retirement in 1983, he had enough smarts to put Aaron Jr. At his lowest ebb, the Champ wandered the streets of Cincinnati, homeless, offering to shadowbox for strangers for a few bucks.

A boxer is a mover, someone who carefully dodges punches while strategically firing off his own. He took the hits then gave them back, only harder, and his short 5’6″ body was sculpted for the sport: strong, thin legs like a runner with a trim upper body, wide shoulders, and the arms of a much bigger fighter. He was one of seven children born to Sara Shelery, a striking woman who wasn’t afraid to come to blows with the many men in her life. Nicknamed the Hawk for his alertness, Pryor taunted his opponents, smiling back at them when they hit him hard and then unleashing a flurry of fierce combinations.

He’s 27, with a wide smile and thin beard, and as he’ll be happy to tell you, what he does for a living is in his blood. There’s a “Junior” at the end of it, but most people zero in on what comes before: Aaron Pryor.

It’s a name that carries both expectations and opportunities.

Auburn Community Center to think about, where he went three rounds against Ravea Springs, a 34-year-old Cincinnati fighter who once fought for the world cruiserweight title (200 lbs.). The win set in motion a six-year stretch that gave Aaron Jr. (His father and mother, Carol Clark, were high school sweethearts, and when they divorced after Aaron Jr.

was born, Pryor gained custody of his 2-year-old son.) He remembers bouncing back and forth between Miami and Cincinnati, where his father had homes, going to bouts and training sessions.

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He knows he’s expected to talk about his father, a former junior welterweight champion and perhaps the greatest fighter of his day.