Khalil Shakeel is a two-time All-Army boxer and World Boxing Federation intercontinental champion who earned the nickname Razor Sharp.
Shakeel, owner of Ambition Boxing Academy, is working to train servicemembers for an Army vs. Great Britain friendly boxing competition coming to Fayetteville in April. On any given night at his facility, located just off Cliffdale Road, Shakeel trains upwards of 20 boxers. In mixed company, Jan. 12, he trained about nine Fort Bragg servicemembers.
Boxers start off with high-intensity drills and eventually rotate into the boxing ring. One rotation includes bouncing medicine balls against tires, with the weight of both the balls and the tires decreasing or increasing depending on the station.
Sanchez McGhee of the 307th Brigade Support Battalion said he is looking forward to the competition in April.
“I just want a good challenge,” said McGhee, who plans to box in the welterweight class at 146 pounds. He has learned to work on both is balance and hand movement since joining Ambition, he added.
Joshua Dogma, also assigned to 307th BSB Soldier, said training at Ambition has enabled him to work on the movement of his hands as well.
“I’ve been working on the combination of putting my hands together more,” said Dogma, who anticipates doing well in competition.
“I think I’ll do great. I learn fast --- I learned this sport and I’ve got a lot of heart,” he explained.
Sprawled across the wall at Ambition are various pointers Shakeel has formulated for boxers. He said he calls it the Power Wall, and encourages students to select a pointer to discuss. One read, “The law of timing: wrong action at the wrong time leads to a disaster.” Another explains the law of habit as the repetition of thought or action.”
Shakeel said he wants more servicemembers to take an interest in boxing. It is a sport well-supported by the community and those who remember when Fort Bragg had its boxing heyday.
“So many who were Army when I was boxing say they miss boxing at Fort Bragg,” he said. “This brings the interest of boxing back to Fort Bragg.”