Elijah Pierce is ready to reclaim his throne. The 17-2 professional boxer took a break from the sport to deal with a personal matter. Now, he’s headed to the ring on Aug. 4 to face Mike Plania at OTE Arena in Atlanta. The fight is the first of a series of Friday night matches at the arena every Friday through Aug. 25.
Pierce spoke to rolling out to discuss the bout and his intention to climb back up the ranks.What are some emotions going through your head days before the fight?
I’m excited. This has been long awaited, a long time coming. It’s my coming out party, man, as simple as that.I went through a lot of personal mishaps in my career thus far, you know. I’m 17- 2, 14 knockouts as a professional in seven years. Like I said, this is my first official TV fight. I’ve been set to fight on TV before, but this is the official one that’s going to happen, solidified.
I just can’t wait to put the world onto me, see “The Wolf” make an appearance, and I’ll make a statement.
What are the personal struggles you’ve faced and how were you able to overcome them?
The biggest was I was married for five years. Me getting divorced, and I’m a family man, so obviously taking that was tough … I have a traditional spirit, that’s how I was raised, that was imparted into me, so taking that step [marriage] at a young age, I was sure, at least in my mind, I felt very sure about it and I expected to be married for the rest of my life. That’s why you take that vow, “Till death do you part.” Ultimately, with that happening, it definitely turned my world upside down.
I have my daughter full time, so assuming that extra responsibility as well and somewhat lacking that other [person], it was a lot of pressure, a lot of hurt and pain behind it, but I found my way back.
I have a great support system. My mother, that’s my rock, she has my back. My father and even my stepfather, I call him my second father because he’s been there for me way out of the bounds of what one would assume a stepfather’s role is supposed to be … my current manager was the icing on the cake. After went through my separation, I was out of boxing for what I would say about a year and a half after I took my second loss, due to that. He found me on the couch, and was like, “Man, I see so much potential in you, you’re a great fighter, I don’t see how you’re not further along in your career and he took that chance on me.
What advice would you give to men going through heartbreak right now?
For starters, simply never give up. I refuse to fail. No matter how hard the circumstances may be, you can’t let defeat even enter your mind.
Aug. 4: Elijah Pierce vs. Mike Plania
Aug. 11: Albert Bell vs. Presco Carcosia
Aug. 18: Kurt Scoby vs. Narciso Carmona
Aug. 25: Lorenzo “Truck” Simpson vs. Vladimir Hernandez
Source: Rolling Out