Fort Bragg Sergeant KOs his way to All-Army title target_yearofthenco
June 10, 2009
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- A Fort Bragg Soldier stood before a crowd of cheering, boxing spectators as the referee held his arm up in victory. This Soldier won the heavyweight-division gold medal for the All-Army Boxing Championship.
Sgt. Miree Coleman, a platoon sergeant with the Fort Bragg Replacement Company, won the championship bout after defeating his opponent by knockout at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., April 17.
"It's like winning gold from the Olympics," said Coleman. "I started boxing just eight months ago. I feel like I'm the man now."
The All-Army boxing trial camp took place March 23 through April 23. Coleman said the intensive training helped prepare him for the fights he had to win to become the heavyweight champion.
"It reminds me of the show 'The Contender,'" said Coleman. "We all live together. We all train together. We eat together. We do everything together. And then we have to fight each other. It's kind of hard with the friendship, because we have to fight them. It's kind of like that love-hate relationship."
Starting out ranked as the third seed, Coleman's expectations were low, but he refused to give up. On April 15, Coleman won his fight by earning more points than his opponent, despite fighting with a broken finger. He later went on to win the championship match while having to endure the same injury.
"There were three heavyweights in my division," he said. "Based on my experience and training, I was the third-seeded heavyweight. So I had to fight twice in order to get to the championship boxing match. Win or go home."
Coleman expressed his gratitude to his leadership for allowing him to attend the All-Army boxing trial camp.
"I'd like to thank my chain of command for allowing me to go," he said. "It was up to my commander to say yes or no. My whole chain of command has supported me." In addition to military support, Coleman also received support from his coach Nathaniel Fitch.
"He called me everyday to see how I was doing, trying to motivate me when I was down," said Coleman. "Training was so hard. It was kind of like basic training all over again, but with Olympic-type training. The biggest thing was to represent Fort Bragg."
Coleman is now eligible to participate in the U.S. Amateur Boxing National Championships at Colorado Springs, Colo. this month. He remains undefeated in his amateur boxing career and hopes to remain undefeated going into the nationals, while still representing the Army and Fort Bragg.