By Ryan Burton
Tonight undefeated welterweight Brad Solomon (25-0) will fight in what will be the biggest bout of his career when he faces Raymond Serrano (21-2). The fight will be in chief support of the Seanie Monaghan-Donovan George main event and will be televised by truTV. With a spectacular performance, the 32-year-old Solomon would likely graduate to HBO and bigger purses.
Solomon's trainer Valrice Cooper said that Solomon had a great training camp and expects a masterful performance.
"The training camp was superb. We had very intense training and Brad reacted well. This is a big stage for us. This is a moment where I look back on his career from where it started in prison and I look at it now and it is way overdue. He should have been a world champion by now. He is 25-0 and has looked golden. This is his statement fight. He will prove that he deserves to be a world champion," said Cooper.
"For me this is personal gratification to see him become a world champ. To see him on this stage here is the greatest satisfaction that I can personally get to see him from where I was training him in prison to now to be on the verge of a world championship."
Cooper began training Solomon when Solomon was serving a 4 and a half year stint in prison in his native Louisiana. Cooper spent thirty five years in prison after being sentenced at the age of seventeen to forty years in a Louisiana state prison for robbing a classmate of a watch and $22.00 in 1976. Cooper became a boxing coach and dedicated his life to helping youth while serving the criminally long prison term for the crime he committed as a minor.
A documentary called The CornerMan has been created to tell Cooper's remarkable story and is currently making it's way on the festival circuit before it gets released mainstream.
Cooper said that part of his motivation in making the documentary was so that people can see what he went through and to motivate people to persevere and never give up.
"I think as more people are beginning to see me, when they meet me in person, it is more believable for them to see where I come from and where I started from and what I did. Most people find it hard to believe on how I fit in society and how I was able to do these things," Cooper told BoxingScene.com.
"My next option was correcting and helping youngsters in life - so if people don't believe my story and believe in the things that I do - the next option was for me to tell my story and let my story be put out to people so they can understand. The greatest satisfaction that I can get is for someone to say, 'because of your story I believe that nothing can stand in my way of making me achieve what I want to achieve in life' and that is the motivating force behind me telling my story so that people can understand not to give up on life no matter what hardship you are in. God is there and trust in him and do what you set out to do.
"I think my story is proof of that. It is a testament of God's will. When he says change then change and when he says go get it, go get it. That is the whole reason behind my story. The reception I have received from people I used to watch on TV is a blessing for me, for people such as Roy Jones Jr. and his wife and (hip hop recording artist) T.I. and T.I.'s wife and other people even when I was in prison. It is a blessing to know that not only I made a difference in my life but in other people's life. When you see the story and see the youngsters I worked with you will see they were in some terrible situations and you see the transformation of them and myself and it is a wonderful feeling.''
A remarkable story indeed. The CornerMan should be released worldwide in the near future.
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