Bruce "Shu Shu" Carrington will fight for the 123-pound open title next week at the Barclays Center. He's also applying for the George Horowitz scholarship to further his education. Sometimes I have to help our boxers quite a lot with essays, but Shu Shu sat down at my laptop and banged this out like a newspaper man on a deadline:
I started boxing at the age of 7. As a young kid, I always wanted to play basketball. Boxing was never on my mind. But the main reason why I started the sweet science was because I was being bullied as a child from older 5th graders while I was in 2nd grade. Although I was a small kid, I was a natural talent at defending myself because I grew up in a rough tough neighborhood. My father saw that as an advantage and asked me if I wanted to box and I agreed.
Starrett City Boxing Club was under a garage named Hornell Loop. Before I walked through the doors, I heard the sounds of the boxers yelling and grunting as they were punching the heavy bag and the constant loud beat of the speed bag. As I walked through the doors, I was nervous because I didn’t know much about boxing and I was looking to impress all of the coaches and boxers there. I started working out on the punching bag and I fell in love with it. At that moment, my heart transformed into the shape of a boxing glove. Boxing means everything to me. It’s my life.
As I began to learn more about boxing, it taught me how to discipline myself and channel my emotions. If I ever ran into an altercation with someone, I was disciplined enough to know that fighting wasn’t going to resolve the problem and it was just a waste of time. All I did was compromise with them and walk away and since I have started boxing I have never had another street fight. If I was ever angry with something that was going on in my life, I had boxing to let all of my anger out. The boxing gym is like my temple of peace.
Boxing also taught me to appreciate the life that I live. Being that I travel around the country to compete in different tournaments, I get to experience life outside of New York. I travel to California, Alabama, Las Vegas and many other places. I meet different people all around the country, sometimes even celebrities if I get lucky. I always make new friends when I travel. Even my opponents that I compete with become my friends because boxing is all about respect. I also love the feeling of winning a nation-wide tournament because that boosts my confidence.
I’ve always balanced education and boxing despite all of the boxing demands that come my way. Education has always been first because it would give me pride to be the first high school and college graduate out of my family. Education will also open many doors of opportunity for me such as well-paying jobs. My goal in college is to study sports management. I always wanted to do sports management because I want to be able to manage myself when I become a professional boxer. I don’t want to be taken advantage of by other managers when I become professional. I want to be known as the greatest athlete to ever step foot in the ring, not the best boxer, but the best athlete. I also would like to give back to my community and maybe build a recreation center that will help kids the way that I’ve been helped by the Atlas Cops N Kids gym in Flatbush.
Boxing will help me get my family out of the living conditions that we are in. Being that my brother died a few months ago through gun violence, I want to be able to live in a community that I feel more comfortable in. The Brownsville section of Brooklyn is a tough neighborhood to grow up in. Although it may have its flaws, Brownsville made me into the type of person I am today. I take the negative in the community and turn it into a positive. Plus, Brownsville isn’t all bad. The people there show a lot of support and take pride in the people that do positive things. When I fight, my mom sometimes shouts “ Brownsville, Brownsville” because this small neighborhood is known to have produced multiple world boxing champions such as Zabdiel Judah, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Al “Bummy” Davis, Eddie Mustafa Muhammed, Shannon Briggs, and Daniel Jacobs. Being that there are so many champions that come out of this small neighborhood, I feel like I have to live up to the Brownsville name.