The world of boxing is always looking for the next young, exciting and hard-hitting force. They will have to look no further, as Yahu “Rock” Blackwell is about to take over the boxing world, and he has the record to back it up.
Yahu “Rock” Blackwell has been able to make a comfortable living from his already outstanding boxing career, due not only to his prowess in the ring but because of a passion that drives Blackwell outside of the ring as well. He is considered to be one of the most promising boxers of 2016, and with an expected net worth of $1.2 million for 2017, you can understand why Blackwell’s career is on an upward trajectory.
Blackwell is the current number one contender in the World Boxing Union Cruiserweight division and will make his television debut on Comcast Sportsnet (CSN) on August 20th as he fights for the WBU Cruiserweight title. Blackwell is already ranked as the #10 boxer in the world according to the WBU and IBU, and you can imagine that number will only increase once the belt is around his waist.
In order to get that recognition, Blackwell put in the time and effort that a champion needs to succeed. While fighting in the International Boxing League, Blackwell was able to compile an impressive 15-0 record and captured the WBU Novice World Championship. Blackwell took his talents around the world, including Scotland, Great Britain, and Spain, showing off his talents in the ring and growing as a person and boxer. You don’t get to the IBL without first showing you’re capable, and before turning professional Blackwell captured the South Atlantic Championship with an overall amateur record of 156-28.
But when you look at just his boxing prowess, you miss the full picture of the man.
Blackwell has wanted to be a champion since he was 7 years old. “It was one of those things that I couldn’t walk away from or else my life would feel meaningless if I didn’t pursue it. I kept the faith and stay determined,” he says. That passion speaks volumes to the marketability, and character of the man wearing the gloves.
Keep in mind though, as Blackwell states, no matter how amazing he becomes in the ring, that’s not what makes you great. He explains, “Personally, I think that being great is what you do for others. It is being a servant to the community.” It is that community which he holds so dearly, that will embrace him on his meteoric rise to becoming a household name.
Blackwell doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk, and in the past has helped use his image to help organize #HTLB, a hot lunch program which distributed over 1,000 lunches to the homeless community.
With a heart the size of Blackwell’s, and a passion to succeed that runs as deeply as it does for him, it is clear why we are witnessing the future face of boxing.
If you thought his passion outside of the ring was impressive, it only scratches the surface of what he’s battled inside of it. Blackwell’s toughest opponent was improper management, and when he debuted in 2009, Blackwell not only broke his right thumb in his fight but had to battle dangerous levels of dehydration after his management had him drop down to 154 pounds. While you can imagine this would stop the career of most boxers, you better believe it only pushed Blackwell harder to succeed.
Now, at 5’10” and 200 pounds of muscle and still only 29 years old, nobody should be surprised as to why Blackwell looks like a man driven in the ring to escape the demons of his past. And once you get to look at him on television, you also won’t be surprised why 12 of his 15 fights ended in knockout victories.
Blackwell has opened up in the past about the inspiration he has drawn from boxing legends such as Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather Jr., and that becomes evident once you see him in the ring. The upcoming fight is also being dedicated to his mother, Sandra Blackwell, who passed away last summer due to a medical malpractice.
It’s clear that Blackwell is destined for great things in the boxing world and that he will use this platform to help change the world for the better. The only question left to ask is not if but when Blackwell will reach the top of his professional goals.