The Commerce Journal

Features

March 17, 2014

Dorsey, boxing greats to headline ‘Boxing With the Stars’

COMMERCE — On March 19, famous figures of the boxing world will all visit Texas A&M University-Commerce as part of the Boxing With the Stars event, a one-of-a-kind opportunity for A&M-Commerce students and local community members to meet and interact with some of the most important figures in boxing, both past, present and future.

The event if free for students and the general public.

Their résumés are more than impressive. The panelists include former undisputed welterweight world champion Curtis Cokes; former welterweight and light welterweight champion Victor Ortiz, who also appeared on Dancing With the Stars and can be seen in the upcoming movie “The Expendables 3;” former boxer and current referee Laurence Cole; Laurence’s father, Dickie Cole, who is in charge of the Texas Combative Sports Program and 2012 Olympian Errol Spence, who is undefeated in the welterweight division since turning pro in 2012.

But only one of them can say he held a world title for kickboxing and boxing simultaneously.

That unique achievement is Troy Dorsey’s alone.

Dorsey began learning karate when he was 10 years old after he was bullied in school, and began boxing in 1985 after he saw boxers make much more money than kickboxers.

“I saw these guys making a lot better money, so I figured I might as well fight and make as much money as I could, for me and my family,” he said.

Dorsey became well-known for his aggressive style, which was most clearly exhibited during a championship fight against Jorge Paez in 1990, when he landed 620 punches.

“I was blessed with that kind endurance,” he said. “I was just born aggressive. Outside the ring I’m aggressive in a lot of ways, but not aggressive toward people. I turn into a different person inside the ring.”

Dorsey won the IBF featherweight title against Alfred Rangel on June 3, 1991, a victory that he credits as the zenith of his career. In 1996 he also won the IBO super featherweight world championship.

In total, Dorsey won two world championships in boxing, five in kickboxing and one in karate. Now Dorsey uses his experience and training to teach men, women and children mixed martial arts at his karate studio, Troy Dorsey Karate, located at 115 North Main Street in downtown Mansfield.

“We teach them about respect; about the dangers of drugs and alcohol; how to set goals and how to reach those goals, both mental and physical,” Dorsey said. “Martial arts is a great thing: it’s not about how good your are; it’s about doing your best. My youngest student is 4-and-a-half years old, and my oldest is 90.”

Knowing he has impacted someone’s life is the true reward of training, Dorsey said.

“Whenever a parent says to me ‘I can tell a big difference in my child since he or she started karate,’” he said. “When they tell me their grades have improved, or their behavior has changed, I’m really grateful that I can be a part of helping change somebody’s life and point them in the right direction.

A devout Christian, Dorsey recommitted his life to Christ at age 35 after retiring from boxing.

After struggling with alcohol and drug abuse during his fighting days, Dorsey has remained clean for the last 16 years. He uses his martial arts success as a platform to tell people about Jesus Christ.

“I’m trying real hard to do the Lord’s will, because my way doesn’t work,” he said. “I tried it. Yes, I have hard times. I’ve had tough physical sickness. I’ve had financial problems, but I know that I’ve always got the Lord to depend and lean on.”

Boxing With the Stars, which will take place in the Ferguson Auditorium on the campus of A&M-Commerce, is the brainchild of A&M-Commerce’s Dr. Robert Rodriguez. An assistant professor of political science, Rodriguez has covered fights and written articles for The Ring Magazine.

In 2009 he published “The Regulation of Boxing: A History and Comparative Analysis of Policies in the American States,” which examines the different rules states have for regulating boxing, since there is no national boxing commission.

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