Ferris “Boomer” Dixon started boxing five years ago because he was always in trouble. The Mumford junior was fighting a lot, and he needed an outlet for all his pent up aggression. Big brother told him to start boxing and Dixon’s uncle stepped up as his trainer.
“When I started boxing it taught me how to discipline myself and walk away from problems,” Dixon said. “When I’m in the ring I feel like anything can happen, and being in the ring I don’t show any signs of fear.”
Five years ago, all Dixon knew was street fighting. By sparring with guys at the gym who had more experience, he’s developed skills in a sport that he said feels natural to him.
Dixon plays football at Mumford, and head coach Donshell English said he can see that Dixon might be able to use boxing to further his future.
“Ferris is in excellent shape, and he’s committed to his sport,” English said. “As I look at him and talk to him, I can see his eyes light up every time he and I talk about boxing.”
Dixon said he’s not surprised that his love for the sport shows.
“I took off with it; I felt like this was me. I can carry myself in the ring, and I think that what you need to have is that dog mentality,” Dixon said. “You have to want to hurt or brutalize your opponent, and that’s what I feel when I’m in the ring. You have to learn how to take a punch and keep on going.”
Dixon has found success with that mentality. With his record of 86-12, he has attracted attention from promoters, and he qualified for an invitation to the Olympic Trials this month in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Dixon isn’t the only boxer in the family. He has uncles and cousins who box, and his 11-year-old cousin, Kahlil Harvey, Jr., is No. 1 in the country for his age and weight. He’s too young for the Olympics, but he went to Lake Charles for the USA Championships.
Dixon’s uncle, Kahlil Harvey, drives Dixon and his cousin to Toledo, Ohio, every day to train at Glass City Boxing Gym. Dixon said it got to be difficult to focus when he was training in Detroit but it’s strictly business at the gym in Toledo.
“What distracts me the most are the deaths that happened in my family. I don’t feel focused when I’m going through a hard loss,” Dixon said.
Dixon had to skip the tryouts in Lake Charles because, after a recent illness, doctors sidelined him for at least a month. He’s confident he’ll be in shape to compete soon.
“I’ve won a lot of tournaments, and I’ve lost a few, and I look at my past tournaments and say to myself that I can win the next one whether I win or lose the first one,” Dixon said. “I know what I have to do to win it, so I just grind hard.”