PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Nothing boxer Lamont Powell faces in the ring will ever be as threatening as what happened on a winter day a few years ago.
Thirty-six gunshots in about a minute’s time were aimed at Powell and his uncle as they sat in a car in front of Powell’s home in January 2018.
“When they came walking up, all I saw was their hands raised,” Powell said. “And I saw fire.”
His uncle was hit once in the leg. Powell was lucky to be alive.
“I just ducked low,” Powell said. “I saw multiple shots after that. Multiple shots just kept ringing, ringing, ringing.”
“Yes I did,” Powell said when asked if he thought he was going to die.
“Every day, I think that my life could’ve ended right there,” Powell said. “So, it’s time for me to do something with your time. Do more instead of sitting around wasting your time.”
The 26-year old borrowed the time he was wasting on street corners and brought it to Providence’s Big Six Boxing Academy.
Powell’s grandfather raised him since he was a toddler after his mother died, and coached him into the ring when he was about 8 years old.
After changing his focus, Powell went pro and is now 7-0, but his goals are bigger than boxing.
“I’m looking at myself, like am I shot, am I shot,” Powell told a group of students during an assembly at The Met.
The Powells joined “Gloves Up, Guns Down” to share their story about what can go terribly wrong.
“The only thing that could’ve saved me was God and my mom, my guardian angel,” Powell told the group. “The streets don’t play fair.”
Powell started focusing on boxing after the shooting, but his message to young Rhode Islanders is to avoid wasting time by discovering their own passion.
“It’s not boxing for everybody. As long as you do something with your time,” Powell said. “Do something with your time. Put your time into something you love to do.”
Powell said he does not know why he was shot at or who did it but blamed the shooting on “kids that get guns.”
“They feel they’re unstoppable. They feel like they can do whatever they want,” Powell said.
“The more time you have on your hands, the more time there is to turn to the streets, the more time to hook up with the wrong crowd, the wrong people, the wrong friends.”
Powell said when, not if he wins a title, it will be for the grandfather he’s called dad since he was a toddler.
“If it’s anyone who deserves something, it’s him,” Powell said. “You want to give him that belt. That belt. he’s going to get that belt. He’s going to hold that belt someday, somehow, someway.”
Powell will soon fight professional bout number eight, with hopes of a title bout somewhere down the road.
While he works on that, he plans of pushing “Gloves Up, Guns Down” with his story of what could’ve ended his life.
“Streets don’t love nobody,” he said. “They don’t play fair.”