Baltimore electrician Tim Coleman Sr. was out of a job when he went looking for work in Las Vegas nearly six years ago. When he took his son, Tim Jr., with him, the father had no idea his loss would turn into the son's gain.
"Tim never really played organized sports, but he was very athletic and looking for something physical to keep him busy," said Tim Sr. "We made some calls and wound up at a boxing gym run by Richard Steele."
A natural in the ring, the younger Coleman, then 14, met and trained alongside such future world champions as Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Zab Judah.
The skills and power of the Pikesville junior middleweight (140 pounds) were on display in last night's opening bout at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, where he dominated Diego Villalba (0-1) of Ozone Park, N.Y., en route to a four-round unanimous decision. Coleman improved to 2-0.
In other bouts, heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon (6-0, four KOs) won a four-round unanimous decision over 48-year-old journeyman Marion Wilson (12-40-4, five KOs) of Washington; Niagara Falls, N.Y., junior welterweight Nick Casal (11-0, 11 KOs) scored his seventh first-round knockout, defeating Martinus Clay (8-10, three KOs) of Wilson, N.C.; and Baltimore junior middleweight (154) Ishmail Arvin (13-0, six KOs) defeated Elias Cruz (11-12, 7 KOs) of Miami by disqualification (excessive holding).
A scheduled eight-round co-main event involving super middleweight (168 pounds) Henry "Sugar Poo" Buchanan (10-0, 10 KOs) was scrapped when Buchanan's management notified promoter Scott Wagner at 2 p.m. that the fighter could not compete "because of legal issues," Wagner said.
An hour later, at least six uniformed officers from the Prince George's County sheriff's department came to Michael's looking for Buchanan in connection with a November 2003 assault case involving former world middleweight champion William Joppy and a tow-truck driver, said a witness who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
In August 2004, Joppy was cleared of assault charges against the driver, who suffered a broken jaw after allegedly being punched by Joppy.