By Luis Sandoval
The Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, NV houses boxing’s number one fighter Floyd Mayweather but it’s also a haven for a lot of upcoming talent. The gym has become a boxing hot bed and also attracts big names that either come by to pay the champ a visit during camp or come to train at the famed site.
Ladarius “Memphis” Miller is only 20 years old and is going into his third professional fight this Friday night and is one of the gym’s most promising young fighters. Miller, whose nickname doubles as his hometown, got into the sport at an early age and like most inner-city kids, boxing lured him in and kept him out of trouble.
“I picked [boxing] up as a kid. I grew up in a pretty rough neighborhood and I was always playing sports and all types of things. Stuff that a normal kid would do and getting into trouble and things like that. But my dad caught me at an early age before I got too bad. He put me in boxing at 10 years old and once I started boxing I just stuck with it. Of all the sports that I did like playing football, basketball and everything I did, boxing had something that made me gravitate to it over everything else and I just fell in love with it,” said Miller.
Ladarius made the move from Memphis to Las Vegas after a family member mentioned him to his now manager and Floyd Mayweather’s camp coordinator Dejuan Blake. Blake asked for him to come down to the gym and Miller took a 3 day bus trip and worked out non stop his first month at the gym. Blake was impressed but he wasn’t the only one as Mayweather himself took a liking to Miller.
In fact, the “dog house” environment that the gym is now known for where two fighters spar while the rest of the gym looks on and bangs on the ring mat to build energy, was started in part with Ladarius.
“I’m one of the ones that kind of started off the dog house. Floyd, he started it in his training camp and I was one of the ones he threw in there. He put me in there with Ishe Smith and I was like 17 or 18 and I did pretty good. Ishe, he schooled me but as a 17 year old kid to get in there with a world champion, everybody was shocked that I kind of held I my own. After that, Floyd anytime someone would come in the gym talking about they’re from somewhere and they wanted to get signed and prove they can hang at the Floyd Mayweather Boxing Club, he’d put them in the doghouse and throw me in there with them” said Ladarius.
Being in a famed gym has its perks and Miller has taken advantage as he’s been able to also work with a bevy of professional fighters including Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Celestino Caballero to name a few.
Despite showing promise and being surrounded by the rest of the TMT fighters, Miller took his time in turning pro and it wasn’t until he began working with trainer Eddie Mustafa last year that he decided to make his debut this past February.
Most of the boxing world has not seen Miller fight yet but he describes himself as a complete all around fighter.
“I’m pretty well rounded in all the areas. I’m pretty fast, I got power, and I can counterpunch. A lot people say I’m a counter puncher but I like to call myself a boxer puncher cause at the end of the day I counter you but at the same time I don’t have to sit back; I can bring the fight to you if I want to”.
Miller is definitely a fighter to keep an eye on and he hopes to give the fans a great and entertaining fight Friday night.
“They can expect me to give it all in the ring. I want to be an exciting fighter and I know knockouts are what pay the bills so if the knockout is there, I’ll go for it. But my main goal is to make sure my hand is raised on Friday night”.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007