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Remembering The Champ: Former Middleweight Champion Donald Bowers

By Greg Hammond
By ghammond@wbbjtv.com

Donald Bowers took over for Rayford Collins as coach of the Jackson Boxing Club three years ago. But for those who knew him, Bowers was more than a coach.

"He was a father figure and a mentor. He was great with the kids training every day made sure the kids had money when they went on trips," said Obie Beard. Beard was a teammate of Bowers’ during Donald's run to the Junior Olympic championship in 1978 and the National Golden Gloves title in 1980.

"We used to call him ‘Jug’ and ‘Battling Donald Bowers’," Beard said.

In the ring, Bowers will be remembered for defying the odds on his way to a 3rd place finish in the Olympic trails.

“They thought Donald couldn't make it because of his size. Donald just provide the world wrong,” said Beard.

“Donald was knocking people out 6 feet tall he was knocking them out. He went through them just like a lawn mower through tall weeds," said Beard.

Despite his impressive 23-2 professional record inside the ring, the time Bowers donated to the youth at the Jackson Boxing Club may be his most lasting legacy.

“The kids looked at Donald as a father figure. For some, that's the only father figure they ever had," Beard said.