Photo: Josh McDill
Ke’Eric Hinton has been involved in boxing since 2012 and will make his professional debut on June 16, 2018 at the Trotter Convention Center in Columbus, MS. After achieving some success in the amateur ranks, he will now embark on his professional journey.
Pretty straightforward, right? The story of his personal journey is anything but. Hinton, like many other fighters, viewed boxing as a refuge; something he could “safely” pursue while possibly making a future for him and his future family. His future family came sooner rather than later. His first daughter, Kaiden, was born February 14, 2013. Hinton said her birth was the ultimate reality check. “I would find myself asking the question, are you serious about boxing? Because if you’re not, you need to find a way to take care of this baby. She (Kaiden) changed everything.” In addition to his first born, he also had the motivation to improve his surroundings due to his experience playing sports as a kid. He recalled seeing the economic differences between him and his little league baseball teammates. “I remember being invited to my teammate's birthday parties as a kid and seeing how nice their cars and houses were. Those images stuck with me and pushed me to do better for myself.” However, boxing represents much more than a financial opportunity for him. It’s something that has become therapeutic, and a mental escape. Hinton said that had boxing not been available, his future looked shaky at best. “Boxing kept me away from so many bad things I was doing,” he remembered. “Things I had no business doing. Some of the things I did had lasting negative effects on people that I loved and cared about. Boxing keeps me away from those type of things.”
With the first birthday of his second daughter, Kendall, on July 12, Hinton knows exactly what is the “why” behind what he does. “My family is definitely my motivation,” he said. “I think as a combat athlete you need that never ending support. In most other sports they play a game. In boxing it’s an actual fight. The guy across from you is trying to knock you unconscious, not block your shot. Jameka (his wife) has definitely supported me, I know it’s hard for her to do sometime but she does it anyway and I love her for that.”
In addition to his family support, Hinton also spoke strongly about Jay Deas and Damarius (Cuz) Hill and how they saved him. “I basically walked into that gym (Skyy Boxing) and put my life in their hands. The first person I met was Jay and then Cuz came later. They’ve done so much for me. They’ve earned my complete trust and loyalty.”
Hinton originally planned to debut in August, but after receiving an early morning call from Hill, things changed quickly. He had already been training, something of which is an unwritten rule in boxing; stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. You never know when the phone will ring. Hinton says the date change hasn’t affected him at all and he will be ready to go on the 16th.
Hinton will make his debut at 155 pounds.