Sunday, December 7, 2014

Remembering Mike Hayden

It's hard to find anyone in the NYC boxing community who doesn't love Shu Shu.

photo: Debi Cornwall

Bruce Carrington, Jr. is the pride and joy of Atlas Cops and Kids. He's an extraordinary athlete and also a great student, brother, and community member. We were devastated to learn last week of the death, by gun, of his elder brother Michael Hayden (below left).

Mike trained a few times at our gym when his illness permitted. He was a gentle young man, the kind of person who made everyone around him happy. We send our love and prayers to Shu Shu and his whole family. Our new intern, Julian, typed out the obituary from the funeral program:

Reflection of Life 

Michael Davon Hayden, Jr., 21, of brooklyn, NY, entered into eternal rest on November 21, 2014. In the early morning hours on May 22, 1993, God extended his almighty hand and touched the brow of a beautiful baby boy at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, to the proud parents, Kelly Simpkins and Michael Hayden, Sr.

At the present of birth, this little bundle of joy was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. Throughout his journey in life, Michael fought  this disease with every ounce of strength he had because he was determined to beat it. While at times, he was very weak; again, the Almighty God would touch this angel and with the help of his extraordinary medical team, Michael would be like new. Did Mike beat sickle cell anemia, one would ask? YES, he did!

Michael was educated in The Brooklyn Public School System. He attended PS 346 and the Frederick Douglass Academy; however, because of his illness, Mike (eventually) had to be home-schooled. 

One of Mike’s favorite pastimes and passions in life was playing games on his Playstation and competing with people from abroad, but his biggest competition and greatest enjoyment was playing the game with his youngest brother, Blake. He also enjoyed watching his brother, Shu Shu, train for boxing tournaments. Last but not least, Skeet, my big brother and best friend, I will always be with you. To Skeet, Shu Shu, Alexis, and blake: continue to work mommy PROUD! Mike loved all of his brothers and sisters and cherished the time he spent with each and every one of them. 

Recently, Mike traveled to Las Vegas and he had the time of his life with the love of his life, Tatiana. He told everyone how much fun he had, and he really enjoyed spending quality time with her. She was his everything! Mike really loved spending time with family and friends. 

Michael was predeceased by his maternal grandmother, Deborah Simpkins, as well has his paternal grandmother and grandfather, Janet Hayden and Hayden. 

Michael leaves to cherish his memory and to celebrate his life, his mother, Kelly Simpkins; his father, Michael (Yolanda) Hayden, Sr.; step-father, Bruce Carrington; maternal grandfather, Tyrone Watkins; step-grandmother, Flossie Carrington; and step-grandfather, Johnny McCoy; is siblings Skeet, Bruce Carrington, Jr., Alexis Carrington, Blake Carrington, Mecole Hayden, Ashine Hayden, Amari Hayden, and Itazhia Haskins all of Brooklyn , NY; his devoted girlfriend, Tatiana White; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives, friends and neighbors.  

Our other intern, Elijah, offers this poem:


Why black on black beef?
Where does it come from? 
Why can’t we love each other is the feelings numb?  
I’m bout to set it off,  boxing runner up 
Tell my brothers put the guns down lets have fun 
maybe pop a bottle like we’re over 21 
I want live free not die young

This poem is about parents losing sons 
Black on black violence 
13-year-olds with guns  
All they want to do is take the air out their brothers lungs
Fight to the top and you can’t fail 
Don’t want to be behind bars I never liked cells 
Life’s hell and the drama never ends, 
so don’t fall in like a coin in a wishing well.  

Im made of gold
so Im just waiting 
Mommy always grinding daddy was a hustler 
Im the abomination they created 
two thoroughbreds produced a knuckle head 
I walk the streets and try to keep faith 
Im just waiting Im just waiting for my turn 
Im from the land of no return 
so Im putting on until the world shake 
to get a house built on a island 
For my momma.