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Kurt Scoby chose boxing over football – and wants to show he was right

“Hear me on this: Kurt Scoby is going to be a major star and a world champion … AND he punches holes through walls.”

— Promoter Lou DiBella

There was a time when boxing may not have been a part of Kurt Scoby‘s ultimate plan. Perhaps if it was up to him, he’d be rushing for over a thousand yards in the NFL right now.

But that was not to be. So he’ll have to settle for being a potential world champion in the world of professional boxing.

He’s doing just fine, with a record of 11-0 and nine KOs, but he’s got an obstacle coming up, as he will face off against former world title challenger Hank Lundy on the June 29 card being presented by Boxing Insider Promotions.

It wouldn’t be all that unusual for us to tell you that this is a fighter who’s had a tough upbringing. But Scoby’s might have been tougher than most. Hailing from Duarte, CA, Scoby had a home life filled with abuse, and later went into foster care, where he found himself in fourteen different home situations. Along the way, he became one heck of an athlete.

Scoby was at once a football player and a boxer. At Monrovia High School in the greater Los Angeles area, he was a premier running back, rushing for a monstrous 13.5 yards per carry and scoring 35 touchdowns as a senior. In one game he actually had 287 yards on only twelve carries.

Of course, this was going to bring interest from major college programs, and Scoby accepted a scholarship offer from Fresno State. But he redshirted there, and then transferred to Azusa Pacific (famously the alma mater of Christian Okoye), where he rushed for 2704 yards in three years, averaging over six yards an attempt.

For football, Scoby was listed between 180 and 190 pounds, and may have been even heavier than that. He had to do a lot of weight manipulation to accommodate both football and boxing. The truth is, he says he found a real home in the boxing gym – in this case, the Duarte Boxing Club – and he won a California Golden Gloves title as part of a career that had about 150 bouts.

During the 2020 pandemic, he came east in search of a trainer and some experience in the Big Apple. He got a plan ticket for $11 from Los Angeles to New York, and admits “It was crazy doing what I did.” He wound up at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, under the tutelage of Don Saxby, who he says has been a father figure for him.

His professional career got underway in September 2020 with a first-round stoppage of Pablo Luna. Admittedly, most of his opponents have been lesser lights, and he dispatched them accordingly. So the criticism was that he was relatively untested.

That was supposed to change on February 17 of this year, as he was matched with John Mannu, an undefeated Australian southpaw nicknamed “The Beast” who had vanquished unbeaten foes in each of his two prior bouts.

This fight, a feature on ShoBox from Topeka, KS, turned out to be a showcase for Scoby, who overwhelmed his opponent with a second-round stoppage, scoring four knockdowns.

He had arrived…… almost.

And as his journey continues, he’s got a notable team surrounding him. That includes not only Saxby, but co-managers Daniel Gonzalez and Brandon Stump; Leon Taylor, a former pro light heavyweight and gym legend, who once dropped Michael Spinks in sparring, and Vlacheslav Papka, a fitness specialist with a lot of technology behind him, who helps keep Scoby fine-tuned.

Yeah, maybe Scoby CAN punch through walls. But this is a step-by-step process, and the next step is against a wily veteran who has been in the ring with some of the best in the business.

Maybe this guy can cross the goal line after all.

Tickets for the June 29 show are priced at $95, $125, $200 and $325 and are available through TicketWeb. For information about tables, contact [email protected]. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with first bell slated for 7:30 PM.

Established in 1997 as a premier boxing news and information destination, Boxing Insider has, over the course of the last ten months, transitioned into the promotional business. This will be Boxing Insider’s fifth professional boxing promotion.

Sony Hall is located at 235 W 46th St. in Manhattan, at the bottom of the Paramount Hotel, directly across from the Imperial Theater.

This event will stream free of charge on

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