RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Immanuwel Aleem fell to his knees overcome by victory, the new WBC Silver Middleweight Champion of the world, as he TKO’d Levghen Khytrov in the sixth round of a fight in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Saturday, January 14th.
“To win this championship against the #2 guy rated in this belt,” Aleem said, “it’s overwhelming.”
Immanuwel (17-0-1, nine knockouts) has come quite a long way from when he began at age 12 in Richmond, Virginia. He was coached by his father Omar during his formative boxing years, through amateur levels and Olympic levels. Immanuwel went through this process alongside his brother Moshea who currently an up and coming boxing prospect himself at 4-0-1 with two knockouts.
When the two decided to take up the gloves at a young age, Omar opened his own gym, “Ninth Dimension Sports Circle.” He’s since continued to teach boxing to young, aspiring fighters, all out of pocket.
Immanuwel and Moshea, who are 23 and 25 years old respectively, competed in the USA Boxing National Championships after winning state and regional championships in 2011.
Now with a title belt, even though Immanuwel is one stop shy of the gold belt, the Aleems have laid the groundwork for other young boxers to follow.
“They’re like, ‘We’ve seen them do it and now they’re on the big stage and they’re up there with the celebrities, they’re fighting on the big cards now,'” Immanuwel said, “so we can follow their path as well.”
“You’re talking about in the gym,” father Omar, the owner of Ninth Dimension Sports Circle Gym, said. “Working on the bag every day, working the jump rope, keeping out of trouble. It helps the kids focus. The gym is there to help them, to change their minds from negative things and to instill values.”
Moshea hasn’t had the same fortune as Immanuwel in recent years. Having to overcome a Tommy John surgery in 2014, he remains in good spirits and knows he and his brother’s journey can be the same for other aspiring fighters in our area.
“The character, the attitude to dig deep and have that character,” Moshea Aleem said, “it really helps you out in this boxing world where it’s all opportunity, where preparation makes yourself.”
Now, Immanuwel is trained by George Peterson and managed by Al Haymon, who also advises Floyd Mayweather Jr. Despite his rise in status, he hasn’t lost touch with his hometown and that defines how he fights in the ring.
“Richmond is a gritty city,” Immanuwel said. “They can see that from where we fight these guys, they came from somewhere out of nothing and we’re making a lot.”
You can help support Omar Aleem’s “Ninth Dimension Sports Circle” gym by visiting their website: http://www.ninthdimensionsportscircle.yolasite.com/