Steve Forbes on Dec. 9 Promotional Event: “Everybody Has an Opportunity to Win”

By Caryn A. Tate on December 6, 2017
Steve Forbes on Dec. 9 Promotional Event: “Everybody Has an Opportunity to Win”
Forbes is undertaking a new venture: he’s become a boxing promoter in his hometown.

Steve was inspired to take up boxing when he saw Evander Holyfield on the cover of Ring Magazine. His life was changed forever…

Steve “2Pounds” Forbes is no stranger to making a way where there doesn’t appear to be one.

From the moment he drew his first breath, Forbes faced tremendous adversity. He came into the world weighing only two pounds (hence the nickname). His body was so weak that he was kept at the hospital for a few months. When Steve was finally released, his lungs gave out and his family had to rush the baby back to the hospital.

As he grew up, Forbes continued to deal with various health issues. But when he was ten years old, Steve was inspired to take up boxing when he saw Evander Holyfield on the cover of Ring Magazine. His life was changed forever.

As an amateur fighter, Forbes became a five-time Golden Gloves champion. After turning professional, he amassed a record of 35-14 (11 KOs) during his 18-year career. Steve was known for his craftiness as a boxer and his ability to hit and not be hit, studying under Roger Mayweather (as well as Floyd Sr. and Jeff) for a time.

Since retiring, the former IBF super featherweight world champion has trained fighters and stayed active in the sport. Now, Forbes is undertaking a new venture: he’s become a licensed boxing promoter in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Along with partner Christina Lunzman, Steve intends to bring boxing back to Portland long-term. 2 Pounds Sports and Entertainment is hosting their first event, “2 Pounds Fight Night,” this Saturday, December 9 at Jackson Armory.

Forbes has long had the desire to promote, but it was partly from through the urging of his grandmother that he acted upon it. “I wanted to do it when my career was going. I wanted to promote my own self. Especially out here—there just weren’t enough pro fights happening.

“So I figured, you know what, there is no boxing in Portland. I’m from there. My grandma, before she passed—you know, she was like my mom being that my mom was a teenage mom. I was a two pound baby so I was really fragile, so my grandma raised me up. And she always said, you know what you should do, you’ve gotta come back here and promote boxing and train people. It’ll be better for you to do it at home.

“Years went by, and then she got really sick. One of the last conversations I had with her, she said, you have to do it. I was like, I’ve got all these things I want to do. I went and worked in TV production in LA for three years—I wanted to incorporate the entertainment part with boxing. I thought I had to be in LA, and she was like, no, you can do it here. I said, well, they don’t have that stuff here. She said, well why don’t you create that? If you don’t like the way something’s going, then do something about it.

“That sticks in my head every single day. You know, I’m like, there’s no boxing here. It sucks. Then I hear her in my head saying, then make boxing here. So that’s kinda how it started. Christina, my partner, she already wanted to promote a show. That’s how we first met about a year and a half ago. We were talking about doing a show. She had all the paperwork and I said, we should just team up.”

“2 Pounds Fight Night” will feature both amateur and professional boxing. Forbes felt strongly that both the developing and the paid fighters should have a place to showcase their talents in his city. “When I was an amateur here, there weren’t any pro fights happening,” Steve said. “And our amateur fights were big deals. You don’t really know who are the hot fighters now around here. So me and Christina said, why don’t we just combine them? That’s never been done here before. That way the amateurs have the chance to get the spotlight on them too. And also they’re gonna turn pro, so they’ll have a place to fight.

“Then I said, let’s even spark it up more—why don’t we give [the amateurs] really nice belts? I know the president of the ABO (American Boxing Organization) because he was a fighter. So I talked to him and he was like, hey man, we want to donate for your first show and sponsor it, because we really think this is good what you’re doing in your home town. So they donated three belts. And I figured this will spotlight the amateurs and they’ll get a little bit more excited. So I said, we’re gonna give you guys championship belts, and the pros, they’re not fighting for any belts. So that’s how we’re gonna even it up. This gives them an even bigger platform to perform on, and you get to see the future of Northwest boxing around here too. I’m excited about it. It’s never been done—I’ve never seen anything like it.”

While most fight fans are accustomed to seeing up and coming boxers matched with opponents with losing records, the 2 Pounds event stands out. The fighters on the card are surprisingly well-matched, and Forbes is excited about the athletes on his first card.

“For the most part, everybody’s matched pretty even. That’s one thing we wanted to do—we don’t want to see a bunch of blowouts. Sometimes I’ve seen promoters promote their first show and you see a guy 10-0 fighting a guy 1-10 and the whole lineup is that way. And I’m just like, come on, man. It’s not even a fight. So we wanted some fair play here. Everybody has an opportunity to win.

“These amateurs are all ranked pretty good. All four fights on the amateur portion are gonna be incredible. I really like Lorenzo Caldera. He’s a 141-pounder. I started boxing with his uncle.

“The pros—I’m excited to see 6’7” [cruiserweight] Marquice Weston (11-1) fight, from Tacoma. I used to box for Tacoma Boxing Club so you know, I love them guys out there. He and Nicholas Jefferson (2-0) [fighting on the card at 147 pounds], they train with the old U.S. Olympic coach, Tom Mustin, who I used to train with when I was 16 years old. So I’m excited to see those guys fight.

“Also we’ve got a guy, Oscar Herrera, who’s turning pro. He’s a young fighter making his pro debut against [Shawn Harwood], who’s making his pro debut. And Oscar, from what I heard, was pretty decent in the amateurs. So to see him turn pro is great.

“I’m excited about the co-main event. James Ballard (9-0) from Detroit—this is kind of a step up for both guys. Britton Norwood too, he’s 4-1. These guys have got good records. They’re going against each other to kind of move forward.”

Follow Caryn A. Tate on Twitter@carynatate

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