COLUMBIA, S.C. — For many athletes, it is a dream to sign with a professional company to jump start their career. That dream is now a reality for two South Carolina natives.
DelQuan Dimez Dennis '3D', 24, and Elijah Seawright, 17, were approached by world-class boxing management company, VegasChamp Boxing, three weeks ago. Their talents are finally being noticed by the big leagues.
In the upcoming months, 3D and Seawright will head to Las Vegas where they will fight alongside other professional boxers. Their trainer, Kevin Brown, says this is the first time in 16 years that boxers from South Carolina have signed with a company this big. Seawright is the youngest fighter ever to be signed with the organization.
"The hard work is what got us here...I think once we get there we belong there," 3D said moments before signing his contract.
The duo credits their success to Brown. As the owner of Battle Boxing Gym, and Seawright's father, Brown was able to take these boy's abilities and turn them into champions.
"He'll take us and make us spar people that are way better than us. Then when we come back to this gym, we perfect all our flaws," said 3D.
Seawright has been boxing for three years. When asked how he got his start, Seawright said he was being bullied in school, a story that connects to many kids. His parents had enough of the teasing, and Brown set up a punching bag in their backyard.
"I learned how to at least throw a punch and then I started liking boxing. We opened the gym and it just sprouted," Seawright said.
3D is from Sumter and started boxing when he moved to Columbia two years ago. "It was actually him (pointing at Sewawright) that pretty much beat me up every day until I got to where he wasn't beating me up anymore."
When becoming a pro athlete, many think the fame and money is a driving factor. Seawright and 3D say they aren't focusing on that.
"The fame is cool and all but we know what we're doing this for -- you know it's to help change lives," 3D said.
"I want to change people's lives, I want to help people out," Seawright added.
The duo says after making it big, their goal is to come back to Columbia and open their own gyms. They say it's important to remember where you came from and to always give back.
"I want to be able to help the kids. I want to be able to give back because I knew what it took to get me here, it took a lot of help. So if I can help somebody else, that's what I want to do," said 3D.
Brown said he is proud of all of their accomplishments.
"The thing I love about my guys is watching them turn into great fighters, the journey they get to go on'because we get to witness them completely change and it changes their lives," said Brown.
When molding his boxers, Brown says he wants to make them the heroes, rather than the villains.
"The thing with boxing is you're either going to be a villain -- and the fans aren't gonna like you -- or you're gonna be somebody that can draw the fans in and you want them to be a part of your life," Brown says.
Brown says his main goal is when working with 3D and Seawright is answer was simple: he wanted to make them "passionate and caring boxers, but mainly care about the kids and their community".