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, and even received some personal instruction from Roger Mayweather, Floyd's uncle and trainer.
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.
"Coming to Baltimore, being in front of my home crowd, knowing that they like to see wars at Michael's - my nerves were really going." said Coleman (2-0 ), who dropped Villalba with a right hand in the first round and nearly stopped him late in the second and third rounds.
'I've trained with Sharmba Mitchell, sparred with Mayweather and Zab Judah, so I felt my skills were above him." Coleman said. "He was a game and a decent puncher, and I got a little overanxious trying to knock him out. But I knew what to expect."
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, D.C.; and Niagara Falls, N.Y. junior welterweight Nick Casal (11-0 , 11 KOs) scored his seventh first-round knockout, over Martinus Clay (8-10 , three KOs) of Wilson, N.C..
A scheduled eight-round, co- main event involving supermiddleweight (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.