You often hear of famous athletes that they've forgotten where they came from. Success has changed them. Or they never come back home. Augusta boxer Rayonta Whitfield will never be accused of any of that.
As a young boy, Whitfield dreamed of big crowds, brights lights, and tv cameras in his hometown for one of his fights. That dream has come true not once, but soon, twice.
The North American Boxing Organization's flyweiight title holder held court in the commission chambers in downtown Augusta today for the pre-fight news conference, officially announcing his hometown fight coming up on August 1st in the Bell Auditorium.
Make no mistake, this is a big deal. But for a 26-year-old who has the gumption to tell ESPN he'll fight on their network but he wants the fight in Augusta, Whitfield has even bigger dreams.
Ray says, "My biggest goaol now is, for maybe the next year, to have HBO here at the James Brown Arena. That's what we're working towards. That would be something wonderful for me to win a title herer in Augusta."
In the meantime, the 17-0 champ will prepare to face Jair Jimenez in a little over 2 weeks. It's his second hometown, nationally televised fight after beating Everisto Primero on ESPN in Augusta last year. Whitfield learned then that fighting in your hometown isn't always easy.
"Everybody wants tickets, everybody's trying to get in touch with me. I have to hide from my family and friends," Whitfield says with a smile. "I got to focus on what's in front of me."
Whitfield's never had a problem doing that in the past. The big fight, featuring 4 other bouts on the card, is set for August 1st at the Bell Auditorium with tickets on sale now.