Opportunity Lost, Friend Gained: The Hammer

By Michael Schmidt on October 6, 2011
Opportunity Lost, Friend Gained: The Hammer
Jonathan Hamm is smart, physically gifted and a gent I would call a friend for sure

What an entrance. Six-feet-seven, give or take 260 pounds, pure steel and sinew. None of this weightlifting business bulk…

Boxing is, from a business standpoint, on its best of days often frustrating, soul debilitating, anger inducing, and most certainly a cyclical wallet drainer. As our fearless Editor would tell you, this boxing business has become somewhat of a niche sport. Gone are the days of the 1930s where punching somebody in the nose was mandatory instruction in high school and college. A small chunk of pie with too many starving rats around usually means somebody gets their tail bit. I wouldn’t want to even put Bronson (see “Fourth of July” and “Bronson, Haye…”), he of the coyote/German shepherd breed into the fray. Well maybe! Bronson does not lose. Mix the aforementioned cocktail of darkness with the narcotic that boxing is from a fan point and the daily injustices that one witnesses from judging to poor refereeing and it is quite frankly trite to say that you have to have steel in your veins to persist in this business. Now on the other hand, when success is reached it is simply magic. There is, in my opinion, no feeling like it. It is a narcotic, this boxing business. Which brings me to my fickle meeting with Mr. Jonathan Hamm.   

It is almost two years ago that I met Jonathan Hamm. A Beast. It all started innocently by way of a call from a good friend, Riz Jamal, calling my law office in Kitchener. “Yo, G Unit Schmidty, did you want to meet ‘The Hammer’ for lunch? You’re buying of course.” Ah yes, good old mortgage broker Riz, better at lending than spending of course. To wit I of course needed to know what of this “Hammer” was deserving of a lunch. It was explained to me that Mr. Hammer was with the New Orleans Saints of recent time, was a huge boxing fan, had roomed and was friends with Mr. Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants, and was friends with our mutual friend “K-Dog.” It turns out the three had gone to the same university and of course were all standout collegiate athletes. “K-Dog” was a standout track and field man. It was also explained to old Schmidty that we could probably get some nice NFL tickets. 

Lunch it was!!!

We decided to meet at a restaurant called Boa Nova. They have a huge all you can eat buffet.

Old Schmidty was not born yesterday. If the said “Hammer” was as big as described then the all you can eat was perfection. I was already at Boa Nova with Mr. Jamal and “K-Dog” before Mr. Hammer. Oh yes—what an entrance. Six-feet-seven, give or take 260 pounds, pure steel and sinew. None of this weightlifting business bulk. Couple that with a beaming smile interspersed with gold teeth, dark black skin, and a doorway that looked small, and basically there was a momentary restaurant solar eclipse. The entire room of approximately 30 diners paused for a moment. Hard to miss this Hammer. But I did I assure you and as I unwind this story you will indeed see why. We had a great lunch. Lots of laughs as usual and “The Hammer” as we affectionately were calling him enjoyed the laughs for sure. He explained that he was a huge boxing fan and was going to give it a serious try. At the time I had on my mind two young boxers we were working with down Central America way, along with our assortment of Canadian prospects, and Ms. Lisa Brown as well, WBA Super Bantamweight Champion. I also had visions of Ed “Too Tall” Jones’ debut down in New Mexico. Not pretty to say the least. “The Hammer” as it turned out was a great guy and I advised him, politely, that boxing was nothing like football, and that if he was going to give it a go he should get a good trainer, etc. We agreed to keep in touch on occasion and that we did by way of the usual quick emails. It was not long after that Jonathan advised that he was intensively sparring under a great program for a period of six months. Hmm. Not long after that Jonathan advised that he was the number one amateur out California way. Hmm. Last month I picked up my Bible of Boxing, The Ring, and the “Hammer” was the number one ranked Super Heavyweight in the United States with the Hammer Train set clearly towards the Olympics.

The whole story is best set out by Jonathan’s sports marketing machine. I was emailing to chat with Jonathan this week and advised that we would like to do a story and hence the publicist release as below. “The Hammer” indeed. As dear old Dad used to say, “Nice guy but I sure as hell would not want to meet up with that in a dark alley!”  We had a great lunch, old Schmidty and this Hammer, Riz, and “K- Dog,” close to two years ago. Opportunity lost. Perhaps and perhaps not. Friend gained. Yes, for sure a friend gained and in this business of boxing that surely outweighs opportunity lost and certainly for a guy in old Schmidty’s shoes and vintage. I have no financial interest in Jonathan. We are free to occasionally catch up with each other as to what we are doing and that we do. We will continue to follow this “Hammer” and his stunning rise in the boxing world. Jonathan tells me that he is in the know on some heavyweights I should look at. That’s the way this Hammer is. Smart, physically gifted and a gent I would call a friend for sure. In the squared circle, well that is a different matter all together.

A brief lunch on a sunny day, with some friends connecting out to each other. Boxing in a better context. Camaraderie, mixed with laughs, and the underlying serious part that is this boxing. Memories. “Hey, did I tell you about the time I had lunch with…. ” Memories more in store for sure. Watch out for this Hammer. A meteor rise in short time and a guy that naturally gets “it” outside the ring. As son Jordan would say, “Sounds like a good guy to chillaxe with.” I will hold on those New York Giant tickets although same would be a pleasure. It is my utmost hope that we shall catch up with Mr. Hamm in Vegas sooner than later.

Boxing Fans—Here He Comes!!!

Hello, my name is Ryan Jackson of Premiere Sports Marketing, and I am writing regarding a story idea about an up and coming promising star in the world of boxing. Jonathan Hamm stands at 6’7, weighs 255 pounds, and is almost a mirror image of former Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis. He is originally from Atlanta, Georgia; however he is boxing out of the All American Heavyweight Camp in Los Angeles.

Hamm gained national notoriety by winning the 2011 USA National Championship in the Super Heavyweight Division with only 16 months of experience in the ring. He also placed third in the National Golden Gloves tournament held a month prior.

Before Hamm laced up his boxing gloves he was well known for his football and acting career. He was a standout All-American Defensive End at Clark Atlanta University in 2006.  In 2007 he had a brief stint with the New Orleans Saints in the NFL which was followed in 2008 by a successful two-year career with the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League.

In 2008, Hamm co-starred in the motion picture “The Big Fan” which featured comedian Patton Oswalt. The film was directed by Robert Siegel and starred well-known actors such as Michael Rappaport and Kevin Corrigan. The film has been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, ESPN Magazine and Sports Illustrated. “The Big Fan” has had a steady run on HBO, Cinemax, Starz, The Movie Channel and Showtime since summer 2010. Hamm played the role of Quantrell Bishop, a superstar linebacker for the New York Giants who was eventually involved in a confrontation with his number one fan (Oswalt). Hamm also had a role in the 2009 Sobe 3D Life-water (ballerina) Super Bowl Commercial (Steelers vs. Cardinals).  Other athletes in the commercial were Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens), Justin Tuck (NY Giants) and Matt Light (NE Patriots). Hamm also appeared on MTVs Super Sweet 16 birthday party as a sexy bodyguard for Destinee Buchanan, who is the daughter of former NFL defensive back Ray Buchanan.

Hamm’s introduction to boxing came when he was discovered by Jo Oniwor, recruiter out of the All American Heavyweights Camp. AAH is owned by Michael King, who is best known for his ownership of King World Productions. He is responsible for syndicated shows such as Oprah, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray and Inside Edition. He started AAH in hopes of bringing the world heavyweight title back to America. The program specializes in turning former athletes into world-class boxers. Hamm is a testimony of what King set out to do. He went into the Olympic Trials as the Number One Ranked Super Heavyweight in the USA. He is also one of the most sought after boxers in the US, by promoters who are looking for boxers to turn professional after their Olympic run. He is coached by Jamal Abdullah who also coaches Joe Hanks, the IBA heavyweight titleholder. Boxing writers says Hamm has an awkward style to that of of a Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko. In Hamm’s short career he has managed to accomplish:

2011 USA National Champion
2012 USA Olympic Trials #1 Seed
2011 National Golden Gloves 3rd Place
2011 Upper Midwest Golden Glove Champ
2011 Minnesota Golden Glove Champ
2011 USA Minnesota District Champ
2011 USA Upper Midwest Champ
2010 Coachella Dessert Showdown Champ
2010 Ringside National runner up

You can read more about Hamm at the links below:

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Jerome Williams (Region 3) vs Jonathon Hamm (Region 2).wmv

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Juicy Peach 06:16am, 10/10/2011

    Hey Guys, I think we might have a new Heavyweight champ soon!  Can’t wait to actually see him in the right with someone his equal!!

  2. FINLEYforeverFAITHFUL 07:10pm, 10/09/2011

    Thanks for putting up his film. After watching his film I gotta admit im somewhat impressed. Kid can make a ton of money in the States. I wish we had him here in Canada.

  3. Harrison Kushing 02:45pm, 10/09/2011

    This is a weird article, def hard to follow. I read the second reading put together and he def sounds like something to look to in the future. Hes one a lot for 1 yr 1/2 expierence.

  4. Travis 007$ 02:37pm, 10/09/2011

    Pretty impressive, hands are pretty quick as well. We will see when he faces some better comp. The guy he fought looked pretty intimidated.

  5. RaiderNation#1 02:25pm, 10/09/2011

    Yes he boxes out of Los Angeles. I saw him at the Ringside touney last year and he is gigantic. Didn’t get to see him fight there we left early. I found this online and for a big man he has extremely fast hands. This clip is from the midwest golden gloves.

  6. Travis 007$ 02:17pm, 10/09/2011

    Los Angeles, he must of spent time in Minnesota. And yes his hair is pretty long, I googled him and in one article he says people call him “Beauty Salon” because of his long hair…hmmmmmm! wonder how people will react to that.

  7. Juicy Peach 11:51am, 10/09/2011

    Hamm is boxing out of LA.  His profile says he originally from Atlanta, GA.  I’d love to see him fight soon! Are there clips on any of his matches?  I hope his hair doesn’t get in the way.  I think it’s too long for boxing; his hair could get into his eye or his opponents.

  8. Travis 007$ 09:35am, 10/09/2011

    Does anyone know where he fights out of, I would like to check him out?

  9. Jesse Holliday 09:30am, 10/09/2011

    I saw Mr. Hamm fight at the Midwest Golden Golves in MN, he is very awkward but very effective.  I tried to speak with him but he was surrounded by 20 kids, he seems very likable too. Can’t wait to see him in the future.

  10. Juicy Peach 10:27am, 10/07/2011

    Hey guys do you think we finally have someone to stand up to the Klitschkos!  I would love to see both of them dethroned.  They think they can’t be touched.  Not that I don’t like them but just that it’s time for someone else to be champ in Heavyweight Boxing; and American!!!

  11. "Old Yank" Schneider 08:03am, 10/07/2011

    This was a lot of fun to read.  I will consider myself officially awakened to keep my eyes open!

  12. The Thresher 06:29am, 10/07/2011

    Very informative.

Leave a comment