The Empire Signs Undefeated Welterweight "Sting" Bwalya!
"They've been talking about how good the kid was, but I never dreamed he was this good. His talent is something you have to see to believe."
Greg Cohen (Founder and CEO) and Barry Honig (Chairman) of The Empire Sports and Entertainment have worked with an extensive list of boxing world champions. So when they say they're "off the charts" excited about signing a young prospect, it's not to be taken lightly.
24-year-old Hastings Bwalya, the undefeated welterweight they are referring to - the one currently generating heavyweight buzz all over West Coast boxing gyms - is a former Zambian Olympian who normally goes by the singular name of Sting.
"Barry and I were at Floyd Mayweather's gym in Vegas to watch Floyd train for his upcoming fight with Shane Mosley," recounts Cohen. "Floyd sparred with Sting and we watched Sting compete evenly with Mayweather in terms of speed, power and defense. He was exceptional at everything. If I didn't see it with my own two eyes, I wouldn't have believed it!"
Cohen says he was already familiar with Sting's reputation, he is trained by Ibn Cason, brother of The Empire's former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman, but had no idea just how special a prospect he was being offered until he witnessed it first-hand.
"I knew that Sting got (WBO Light Welterweight Champion) Timothy Bradley ready for his defense against Lamont Peterson and did really well, so I was aware of his growing reputation, but then I got to watch him against Floyd Mayweather and it was amazing. And this was not an out-of-shape Floyd Mayweather. We're talking about Floyd in peak pre-fight physical condition. In fact, if anyone had a right to be tired that day, it was Sting. He's a four-round fighter who had just driven three hours from San Diego to Vegas to spar. I saw him get out of the car, walk in to the gym to spar Floyd and he was in no way out of his league. This kid is in such tremendous shape, he runs 10 miles a day."
Honig and Cohen knew what had to be done.
"We signed him. This kid is like Yuriorkis Gamboa. He doesn't need 30 fights before he fights for the title. 15 to 20 and he's ready. We're going to keep this kid on one of the most aggressive schedules ever. The only thing stopping him now is inexperience."
Bwalya is currently 2-0, 2 KOs in the professional ranks. As an amateur, he fought for his native land Zambia in the 2008 Summer Olympics and also won the 2007 All-Africa Games as a junior welterweight.