TRAINING GROUNDS – Every day, in boxing rings throughout the globe, young hopefuls take punches in pursuit of lofty dreams and realistic goals.
This Friday night, one of the places that wishful scene will be played out is a mid-sized gymnasium, hidden from view amidst the busy Nordstrasse thoroughfare just outside central Dusseldorf, Germany.
While most young fighters who envision wealth, glory or other personal enticements will find, sooner or later, that such dreams are beyond their gloved-up reach, 23 year old light-heavyweight prospect Jay Spencer, 6-0 (4), looks like a very decent bet to achieve solid status as a pro.
Spencer, who relocated from Ghana, could turn out to be yet another future contender who relocated to Germany and builds a fistic foundation that leads to regional, national, and in some cases, even world title shots.
“It wasn’t easy to leave and it was a long process to get German residency,” said Spencer regarding his major move. “But I knew that if I was going to have real chance of making it, I had to be somewhere I could learn and train under the best conditions. Germany has much better gyms and sparring than I could get in Ghana, but I still miss it sometimes.”
Spencer gets solid training from Stefan Freudenreich, a former fighter who holds court in the namesake gym where Friday’s club fights will be held. In just a few appearances, Spencer has already built a vocal fan base. Big fights are still quite a bit down the rumbling road, but he’s already taken some meaningful steps.
In his last bout, Spencer, now 6-0 (4 KO), gained the German Boxing Association light heavyweight belt against Niko Lohmann. It’s not unrealistic to foresee Spencer adding more significant territory to his regional hardware, but his next opponent, the optimistic but probably overmatched debutant Robert Szalach does not figure to provide much more than a stay busy session for Spencer.
Finding suitable opposition that can provide the necessary basics, without rushing into too big a step, could be more of a problem for Spencer than his upcoming foes.
Right now it may still be a relative long shot that Spencer will reach the world title fight stage, but he’s narrowing those odds. It should be quite interesting to see his position in the rankings two years from now.
Friday should be a quick night’s work, and that two years will come soon enough.